NBA rumors: Hawks may have been close to Ben Simmons deal, didn’t want Tobias Harris

Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers

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Before the Atlanta Hawks sent Cam Reddish to the New York Knicks, there was apparently a Ben Simmons deal on the table that included Tobias Harris.

Daryl Morey has made it clear that he will only entertain substantial offers for Ben Simmons, and last week, the Atlanta Hawks were apparently willing to part ways with quite a bit of talent for Simmons.

The problem was, Simmons was offered in an undesirable package: alongside power forward Tobias Harris.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, a Simmons deal was on the table last week, but it was quickly knocked off when Harris’ name came up in the conversation.

“Last week, the Atlanta Hawks considered sending John Collins, Cam Reddish and a first-rounder to the Sixers in exchange for Simmons, according to sources,” said Pompey. “However, the talks stopped after Harris’ name was brought in the deal.”

Hawks stalled potential Ben Simmons deal at the mention of Tobias Harris

For the Sixers, trading Simmons and Harris in one fell swoop makes sense, but it would be ridiculous for any other team to consider.

Between their two contracts, Simmons and Harris are set to make $259.5 million over the next four years, with Simmons making $40.3 million alone in the 2024-25 season. Add this astronomical number to the fact that Harris is already killing the 76ers’ chances at a championship this year. Considering their cost, anything the 76ers could get for Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris would be better than what they have, yet they are still resolute on extracting as much as they can in absurd trade proposals.

Still, a Simmons deal is being batted around with the Hawks as a prime landing spot for the sidelined point guard, and it’s expected to come at quite a cost.

“I have to imagine Collins would be involved,” according to The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie. “I’d hate giving him up, but he is the closest thing Philly could sell as being the ‘star’ that Daryl Morey wants, per all of the reports on the Simmons situation throughout the year.”

Atlanta is open to bold trades, as evidenced by the Cam Reddish deal they made last week, but the absence of Reddish — and the presence of Harris — makes the current trade possibility more difficult for the two teams to finagle.

Morey wants a king’s ransom for Simmons, making a 1-to-1 swap of Collins for Simmons untenable. Collins also doesn’t solve the defensive and play-making problems the 76ers are trying to patch up with the blockbuster trade.

Even though teams are salivating over the idea of an available Ben Simmons, his asking price remains too high for anyone to afford. Arguably, it wouldn’t be worth it for the Hawks in the long run with all they would have to give up — and the contracts they’d have to take on.

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