Two things regarding the Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers are true. For Cleveland, the team lacks a true star to build around despite having young players and picks. As for the 76ers, they have two superstars who are clearly not very compatible on the court. These two things make the Cavs seemingly good trade partners.
Blake Schuster of Bleacher Report wrote an article saying that if Philly was looking to break up their two stars that Cleveland would be very interested in Ben Simmons. While being famous for an utter lack of an outside jump shot, Simmons is an all-star anyway. He gets to the rim at will, can be off the ball and post up well, possesses elite passing and playmaking ability, and lastly is an All-NBA first team quality defender. The Cavs could make a very enticing package.
Making blockbuster trades for stars is never easy and the trades of Paul George and Anthony Davis last summer made it even harder. Both of these players went for absolute hauls. The Oklahoma City Thunder received five first-round picks, and the right to swap picks two other years, Shai Gilgeous Alexander and veteran swingman Dalino Gallinari. The New Orleans Pelicans traded Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks. Shai Gilgeous Alexander, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram are all top-notch young players all at least slightly better than Cleveland’s Colin Sexton. These players were traded for stars along with buckets of draft picks. However, these deals are different because the Clippers and Lakers were both desperate to get a co-star for Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James.
Simmons should come at a better price considering he’s not quite as good as Anthony Davis or Paul George, his injury history and the fact that Cleveland has no reason to be desperate.
With all that being, Cleveland seems to be able to offer a nice package. The best, fair, offer that Cleveland should make is Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, the team’s 2020 first-round pick and Milwaukee’s first-round pick in 2021.
This deal gives Philly two former top-10 picks in the backcourt to put with Joel Embiid, a top pick this year, and another, most likely late, first-rounder next year as a sweetener. Philly may need to add a conditional future first, or a couple of second-round picks to even things out. They may have to add more than that if Cleveland’s pick falls in the top three. Also, Cleveland could have to add some salary filler to match money. This could be Dante Exum, Larry Nance Jr., or even Kevin Love. This deal also allows Cleveland to keep Kevin Porter Jr., who has flashed star potential. Although it is quite likely that no one on the roster is untouchable in this trade.
This haul seems steep, but a future with Ben Simmons is a brighter one than any the team has had with the 2020 picks, Sexton and Garland.