The Indiana Pacers-Ben Simmons trade front is still alive and kicking

Indiana Pacers, Ben Simmons, Myles Turner - Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Ben Simmons, Myles Turner - Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Despite a lengthy recess from the Ben Simmons-centered rumor mill, the Indiana Pacers are once again tabbed to be one of the pursuers for the disgruntled Philadelphia 76ers star. Given the franchise’s recent upsurge at the forefront of the trade market, the news comes as no surprise.

According to a report by The Athletic’s Shams Charania (subscription required), the Pacers are one of seven teams  expected to show interest in engaging with Philly for the three-time All-Star. While Simmons is yet to play a single minute this season as he deals with mental reconditioning, a culmination of a rocky offseason sequence from both parties, his talent is still highly regarded by many, as interest around him remains ample.

Despite the possibility of Simmons donning the Blue and Gold seemingly dying down near the start of the campaign, where reports about the 76ers brass allegedly declining the Pacers’ offer for the jumbo playmaker surfaced, Indy seems committed to dropping the hammer on their roster, making their inclusion in the bidding for Simmons in theme with their ssudden change of heart.

It seems like the Ben Simmons-Indiana Pacers traction just won’t die off

While manufacturing a viable trade to land Ben Simmons in the Circle City will be no easy task, one exacerbated by the unavailability of Malcolm Brogdon to be a part of any trade maneuver in account of his contract extension, the Indiana Pacers still have the assets to make it work.

Enticing Philadelphia into transacting with them on a two-team deal, however, will be difficult, if not borderline impossible. The 76ers are extremely unlikely to dangle Simmons with Myles Turner as the definitive piece, much less Domantas Sabonis, whose playstyle is an utter overlap with Joel Embiid’s. Even sweetening the pot with Caris LeVert, and bolstering the offer with draft compensation may not be enough given the Sixers’ unreasonable demands.

A three-way trade, however, could be the pathway for the Pacers if they truly want to channel their assets into acquiring Ben Simmons. Teams like Sacramento, Portland, and Minnesota all have supposed needs for what Indiana has on their deck and have the assets to attract Philadelphia, giving the Blue and Gold a lot more wiggle room to be creative while ensuring that the Sixers get their fair share.

Ultimately, despite Indiana Pacers’ sudden uptick in play recently before a close loss to Golden State, they are well-positioned to make a big shake-up to the roster. Whether Ben Simmons becomes an end to that goal remains to be seen, but that persistent possibility could be more than just necromancy on the rumor mill should both parties eventually press the right buttons.

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