Might Kings’ latest turmoil lead to Simmons trade at last? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The deeper we get into the NBA’s regular season, the easier it is to occasionally forget that $33 million of the Sixers’ cap space seems intent on sitting the year out.
But President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey is still working the phones behind the scenes to find exactly the right deal in exchange for Simmons, and if the rumblings out of Sacramento are any indication, he might want to focus his efforts on the Kings’ shaky foundation.
A new report Monday from The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Sam Amick suggests that Kings head coach Luke Walton might not be long for the team. In his third year at the helm, the Kings are currently 5-9 and don’t seem to be improving in any measurable way year-over-year.
While Walton’s job insecurity doesn’t mean much for the Simmons market, what might move the needle is what’s happening in Sacramento’s back court.
“No issue has been more glaring than the struggles of franchise centerpiece De’Aaron Fox, who has had a major decline in production (25.2 points per game last season to 19.8 this season) and efficiency (47.7 percent overall to 41 this season; 32.2 percent from 3 to 23). His comfort level in the starting lineup with second-year guard Tyrese Haliburton is, it would seem, fast becoming an early concern.”
Concerns about an over-crowded back court, you say? Hmm. I think I might know a way to solve that problem!
The Kings have been one of the teams most often linked to the Simmons rumblings, in part because they have a lot of young players on relatively moveable contracts, and in part because Sacramento is not a free agency destination and likely never will be. But they’ve been reportedly reluctant to part with either Haliburton or Fox in any Simmons deal.
Now that their guard logjam doesn’t seem to be meshing, though? And they still have first-round pick Davion Mitchell to incorporate into their system? Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to send one of those two out in exchange for an elite distributor who can also help fix their bottom-10 defensive rating.
A package centered around either Haliburton or Fox (likely Haliburton) would be ideal, were I in Morey’s position. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the legit All-Stars aren’t going to be moved for Simmons, so take a potential future All-Star instead.
How does this deal sound:
And then maybe throw in some sort of pick swap to grease the wheels for Sacramento parting with two young pieces – well, wait, Hield is 28 years old now, so I guess just one young piece – in exchange for a guy who can’t shoot.
I’m taking that one if I’m Morey. And if Sacramento continues to spin its wheels, and contemplates firing the head coach and maybe rethinking the whole organizational strategy, Morey should put the full-court press on trying to grab one of those young guards.