A few notes on the Ben Simmons situation and its relevancy to the Knicks and Nets:
League sources confirm that the Pacers are among the teams who have talked to the Sixers about potential Ben Simmons trade. Caris LeVert was among the players brought up in those communications, per SNY sources.
It is unknown if talks between Philadelphia and Indiana have progressed beyond run-of-the-mill contact.
Indiana is among several teams who have expressed interest in trading for Simmons. The Sacramento Kings are also among that group of teams, per sources.
Simmons is holding out of training camp and still has no plans to play for the Sixers in the immediate future.
The situation in Philadelphia bears watching locally.
Its relevance to the Nets is obvious. Philadelphia is seen as one of the few teams that – when healthy – can threaten Brooklyn and Milwaukee. So if the Sixers land an established star in a Simmons trade, it could change the dynamic at the top of the Eastern Conference.
The Simmons situation may not immediately impact the Knicks – but it could have ripple effects. The Knicks have cap flexibility and six first-round picks in the next four drafts. For a long time, the club has felt well-positioned to trade for a star.
A Simmons trade changes the landscape of teams who have the assets to execute a trade for a star.
The team that acquires Simmons, presumably, wouldn’t have enough assets to trade for another disgruntled star. If Golden State, for example, traded some of its top young players to acquire Simmons, the club probably wouldn’t have the assets to execute a trade for Damian Lillard.
So the Knicks, by default, could benefit from a Simmons trade.
Ultimately, all of the questions around Simmons – where he gets traded and for whom – will be answered by Sixers president Daryl Morey.
Sooner or later, one side will have to budge in this standoff.
Simmons wasn’t at the Sixers’ preseason opener on Monday and there has been no indication that his stance will change.
Whether you fault the Sixers or Simmons for the way things currently stand depends on your perspective.
Members of several organizations have said privately that they hope Philadelphia doesn’t trade Simmons because of the precedent it could set. Simmons, 25, has four years remaining on the max extension he signed in 2019.
It’s worth noting here that Simmons’ current unhappiness isn’t tied to one particular event (or one postseason comment from Doc Rivers).
Early in the 2020-21 season, several people around Simmons were under the impression that the Rockets were going to trade James Harden to Philadelphia in exchange for a package centered around Simmons last season.
Simmons, obviously, was aware of those talks. As you’d imagine, that situation played a role in where things currently stand between Simmons and the Sixers.
So what happens next? The answer to that question could have a significant impact on the Nets, Knicks and the rest of the NBA.