The Philadelphia 76ers have not fared too well without Ben Simmons this season. The absence of Simmons and several other injuries to key players, including a case of COVID-19 for Joel Embiid, has caused the Sixers to post a .500 record through 22 games.
Without the stout defensive talents of Simmons alongside Embiid, Philadelphia’s defense has dipped to the 18th-most efficient in the league and their offense hasn’t been able to make up for it. The trade market is mostly dry right now but the Sixers look to be in serious need of a true second star.
According to ClutchPoints’ Dave Early, the Sixers have discussed the possibility of swapping Simmons with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The scoring abilities of the 23-year-old wing would make him a terrific fit with Embiid and the Sixers.
Have heard that the #Sixers recently held internal talks about acquiring Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in a potential Ben Simmons swap. OKC is also a key team to watch as a facilitator in a potential multiteam deal.
Nothing likely, just something to watch.
— DaveEarly (@DavidEarly) December 3, 2021
The Thunder have no real motivation to trade away Shai, as they just inked him to a long-term contract and have no other serious scoring threats besides him. Still, Sam Presti isn’t one to say no to obtaining extra draft picks, and Philly has some in both the first and second rounds they could offer. Simmons is also a more accomplished young star than Gilgeous-Alexander is.
Aside from Gilgeous-Alexander, the best hope the Sixers have at making an upgrade is trading for Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum. With the Portland Trail Blazers not yet showing any sign of an impending fire sale any time soon, Philadelphia’s options are slim.
Prying Gilgeous-Alexander away from Oklahoma City would give the Sixers a young star to work with. It could cost them a few picks in addition to Simmons to land him, but his talents would make it worthwhile.