According to recent Cavaliers rumors, the Eastern Conference team is interested in trading for Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons. Mark Stein insinuated on Tuesday that Lauri Markkanen could in due course swap teams with Simmons during the 2021-22 NBA season. Of course, Cleveland drafted Evan Mobley third overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, and they recently re-signed Jarrett Allen.
There is no way the Cavs would value Markkanen over Mobley. Interesting enough, Cleveland waived Andre Drummond on March 28th. The center later signed with the 76ers on August 3rd. Furthermore, Markkanen signed a team-friendly contract on August 28th, so this will make trading the forward easier, if this is the direction they want to go. He is set to earn $6,731,508 in the upcoming season in Chicago.
However, the 24-year-old power forward cannot be traded until October 27th. This is because he was dealt three Fridays ago. The regular season begins on October 19th. Plus, Simmons will be owed $31.590 million for the 2021-22 season.
Are the 76ers being too acquisitive and optimistic?
If Daryl Morey, the 76ers president of basketball operations, is waiting for Damian Lillard to talk his way out of Portland, this is not happening anytime soon. There is a minuscule possibility Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olsey will trade Lillard during the regular season. However, the point guard made his allegiance clear on Instagram a little over a week ago. The California native enjoys playing in Portland, or so it seems.
Furthermore, Morey and general manager Elton Brand have made it grueling and unappealing to trade with the organization. They are demanding multiple first-round draft picks for their three-time All-Star. A couple of weeks ago, both the Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves had their trade packages denied by the Sixers. They’re closing the door on potential trade partners.
Even if Markkanen and various first-round draft picks were packaged together, Philadelphia’s front office will want more from Cleveland. Would they add Kevin Love? In late August, Love announced that he wasn’t interested in a contract buyout. The 33-year-old is projected to earn $31,258,256 next season. The power forward bowed out of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics because of a calf strain. So, Love and Simmons are high-priced players, needless to say.
Ben Simmons’ trade destination odds
Moreover, as of today, the Simmons-Cavs trade rumors sound more reasonable, considering Bovada is giving the 76ers the best odds (+250) of the guard playing his first game of the season with them. The 2016 first overall pick also has -500 favorable odds of not attending Philadelphia’s training camp. As bettors can see, the Cavaliers have +1400 odds of Simmons playing his first game of the regular season with the organization. Therefore, an in-season trade on or after October 27th is the most logical.
Simmons reiterated a few weeks ago that he still wants to play for a contender in California. He listed the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors. Per multiple reports, Simmons is not interested in playing for the Sacramento Kings. In June, the 25-year-old Australian purchased a $17.5 million mansion in a gated Hidden Hills community in Los Angeles County. Assuming his intentions are learning towards eventually playing for a California-based NBA contender, why would he want to play in Cleveland? This is something that’s not quite adding up.