Matt Slocum/Associated Press
The 2021-22 NBA season begins Oct. 19, which means most teams’ rosters are set.
However, there are a few players who could remain available after the preseason ends and others who are still trying to find new homes. Additionally, all 30 teams will look to trim their rosters and account for their strengths and weaknesses.
As such, the organizations will continue to make trades well into the campaign. The NBA hasn’t announced an official date for the trade deadline, but it usually takes place right after the All-Star break, which is slated for February. That leaves plenty of time to evaluate potential offers and makes some effective moves.
There’s Still Plenty of Interest in Ben Simmons
The next potential destination for Ben Simmons has to be the biggest lingering NBA headline.
The 25-year-old and the Philadelphia 76ers have been at an impasse since coach Doc Rivers, president Daryl Morey, general manager Elton Brand and owner Josh Harris went to Los Angeles to try to mend the relationship. Simmons is refusing to report to training camp, which will allow the organization to withhold his salary and fine him.
According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, a league source revealed that, “October 1 marks the date that the second 25 percent of Simmons’ salary for the 2021-22 season—roughly $8.25 million—is due to the All-Star guard, but the Philadelphia 76ers do not intend to pay Simmons on Friday.”
With this much drama going on, it’s clear that the Australian’s days with the team are numbered. However, Sixers brass may have to grit their teeth and accept an offer from a team that doesn’t meet exactly what it wants in return in order to stop prolonging this situation.
Luckily, there is no shortage of suitors for the three-time All-Star. Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that “a league source said the Timberwolves, Pacers, Cavaliers, Pistons, Raptors and Spurs are all still inquiring about Ben Simmons’ availability.”
This makes sense because all of teams could use a young star to build around. At this rate, it seems like both parties are being stubborn, but one of the teams Pompey mentioned could put together a decent trade package. The Indiana Pacers probably have the most to offer because they have some tempting draft picks coming up.
Eric Gay/Associated Press
Thaddeus Young Could Be on the Move Again
Another one of the teams with interest in Simmons, the San Antonio Spurs, could shop Thaddeus Young.
The Spurs acquired the 14-year veteran, Al-Farouq Aminu and future draft picks from the Chicago Bulls in a sign-and-trade for DeMar DeRozan. Now, he’s conceivably the best option to package into their next big trade.
Zach Lowe of ESPN reported the following:
“Given roster turnover and their overall youth, I’m a little skeptical the Spurs will have an elite defense — as stingy overall as they were in the minutes DeRozan sat. A lot of those minutes came against backups, and San Antonio’s bench — long an efficiency machine — has been overhauled. Young seems like an obvious trade candidate; contenders have already inquired about him, sources said. (He would be a great fit with the Phoenix Suns playing the Dario Saric role.)“
Young had a solid second season with the Bulls, contributing 12.1 points, 4.3 assists (the most he has ever accrued) and 6.2 rebounds per game off the bench. He also shot a career-high average of .559 from the field thanks to his tremendous play around the basket.
For those reasons, the 33-year-old power forward wouldn’t be a bad addition to a team on the cusp of success in the playoffs.