With the NBA’s trade deadline around the corner, be prepared to hear a lot of Ben Simmons chatter.
The latest: Philadelphia wouldn’t include an “additional piece” along with Simmons in a potential trade for Wizards star Bradley Beal, according to David Aldridge and Josh Robbins of The Athletic.
It’s been well known for a couple of months now that Beal is one of the 76ers’ dream targets in a Simmons trade.
“Philadelphia has made no secret that Beal is on its short list of players for whom it would trade disgruntled guard Ben Simmons, who has sat out all season,” writes Aldridge and Robbins. “But the 76ers won’t include an additional piece, such as exciting young guard Tyrese Maxey, along with Simmons in a potential trade for Beal, per league sources.
“Philly has similarly held firm that it won’t put third-year forward Matisse Thybulle, a terrific wing defender, in a Simmons package.”
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That, of course, is assuming the Wizards would even be willing to trade Beal ahead of this season’s trade deadline.
Beal has a $36.4 million player option in his contract for the 2022-23 season, making him a potential unrestricted free agent in the offseason. Beal is reportedly conflicted about his future with the Wizards, but neither him nor his representatives have “officially asked for him to be moved” in the days leading up to the trade deadline.
Additionally, the Wizards are said to have given “no indications” that they’re seriously considering trading the three-time All-Star.
The Wizards started the season strong but are 3-7 in their last 10 games, dropping them to the 11th spot in the Eastern Conference. The 76ers are trending in the opposite direction, going 7-3 in their last 10 games to move into third place in the standings.
Dominant as Joel Embiid has been, Maxey has played an important role in Philadelphia’s success, filling in for Simmons at point guard with averages of 16.9 points, 4.8 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game. Thybulle is averaging only 5.7 points per game, but he’s quickly established himself as one of the league’s best perimeter defenders. He earned an All-Defensive Second Team selection last season.
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While Beal’s shooting a career-low from 3-point range, he’s still averaging 23.2 points per game to go along with a career-best 6.6 assists.
This season’s trade deadline falls on Feb. 10, the cutoff point being 3:00 p.m. ET. Click here for all of the latest rumors.