The 2022 NBA trade deadline is quickly approaching, and with that the rumor mill swirls. At the top of the list, as he has been all season, is Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons. Speculation around Simmons picked up in the off-season when he stated he would not be playing with the 76ers anymore, and thrust the relationship with his current team into turmoil. Philidephia’s General Manager, Daryl Morey, has held out hope of a big payday for the star player, only recently seeming to be open to more reasonable offers.
But even still, many teams once rumored to be interested in trading for Simons have dropped out of the running—most recently the Sacramento Kings, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The Sacramento Kings — one of the most aggressive teams in the trade market and once an eager suitor for Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons — have ended their pursuit of a deal with the 76ers and turned elsewhere in trade talks, sources told ESPN on Friday.
Inside of two weeks until the Feb. 10 NBA trade deadline, the Kings believe the asking price is too steep and that a pathway to a trade agreement with the Sixers doesn’t exist, sources said.
Wojnarowski outlines more details of Sacramento’s exit from trade talks with Philidelphia in an article for ESPN.
The Kings’ roster represented one of the Sixers’ best options for a Simmons deal ahead of the trade deadline. Losing them in the marketplace somewhat diminishes the chances of an in-season trade, although the Sixers still believe there are potential avenues to a deal, sources said.
Woj also indicates that Morey still wants quite a large return for a player who is currently not playing.
Morey and the Sixers have long believed that the offseason could bring higher-profile players into the trade market for Simmons. Along with free agency, playoff disappointments often give teams and star players reason to pursue change, which could offer the Sixers a wider spectrum of options.
The NBA Trade Deadline is February 10th.