Kings are rethinking trade strategy, Ben Simmons deal could be back on

Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings

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According to new reports, the Sacramento Kings are apparently open to trading two of their young guards for Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons.

It seems the Sixers’ adamance about holding off on lowball Ben Simmons offers has finally paid off — or, at least, that’s the way it’s trending.

The Kings have been popping up in trade rumors for several months now, but as of December, they made their stance on any Ben Simmons trade clear: they would not trade him for De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. Fox and Haliburton, two young guards that the organization considered “untouchable” in trade talks, are apparently now on the trading block, according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick.

“While the Kings would prefer to keep building around De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, their strong appetite to improve means that no player is off the table in terms of potential talks. Wherever there’s an impact player who can be had, in other words, they’ll be exploring the possibilities. And yes, as you likely wondered, that includes Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons. While I reported in early September that a Kings-Simmons deal was looking very unlikely, that was long before team officials had a chance to see nearly half a season’s worth of (mostly subpar) play. Sacramento’s interest is definitely there.”

The Kings are reportedly open to trading De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton for Ben Simmons

What seems to have shifted in the new year is the Kings’ openness to trading Fox and Haliburton, two young players whom the Kings have regarded as cornerstones of their future team.

But sitting at 16-23, the Kings are pressed to make a drastic change, which could come in the form of a once-dynamic Simmons. Although no one has seen Simmons play in the 2021-22 season, he was regarded as the fifth-best NBA player under 25 in 2020 and entered the 2021-22 season ranked as the 28th best NBA player.

While Philadelphia’s postseason against Atlanta revealed some of Simmons’ weakness at shooting, the point guard excels as a facilitator, leading the NBA as one of the league’s most willing passers.

Simmons could be the explosive player that the Kings desperately need at the moment, but the 76ers would be gaining their own talent in the speedy Fox and lethal outside shooter Haliburton.

If the trade works at and the two sides finally get what they want, it could be a new beginning for a satisfied California-based Simmons — and a potential playoff berth for Fox and Haliburton in Philadelphia.

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