Report: Raptors among teams showing interest in 76ers’ Ben Simmons

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons wipes his face after missing a pair of free-throws during Game 5 against the Atlanta Hawks. (Matt Slocum/AP)

The Philadelphia 76ers have reportedly opened up trade conversations surrounding Ben Simmons and have engaged with teams, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Philadelphia’s asking price for the three-time all-star is high, Charania reported, with the 76ers seeking an all-star caliber player in return.

The Toronto Raptors are among teams that are believed to have expressed interest, according to NBA insider Marc Stein. The extent of that interest, however, is not known at this time. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings are other known suitors, Stein reported.

Simmons’ apparent availability comes after a disappointing season for Philadelphia, a team that had NBA Finals aspirations but fell to the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the playoffs.

After their Game 7 loss, Doc Rivers, the 76ers head coach, said he didn’t know if Simmons could be a point guard for a championship-level team. Joel Embiid, Simmons’ co-star and the runner-up in league MVP voting, pointed to an opportunity where Simmons failed to convert in the fourth quarter as being a turning point in the loss.

Simmons’ struggles with shooting and in the fourth-quarter were well documented. He made just three field goals total throughout the seven-game series, and didn’t attempt a fourth-quarter shot at all in the final four games.

Coming into the season, the mandate from 76ers president Daryl Morey was for Rivers, Embiid and Simmons to find on-court success and make a deep playoff run. The playoff shortcoming, coupled with Simmons’ inclusion in trade packages that were designed to bring James Harden to Philadelphia are key reasons Simmons’ future is now in question, Charania noted.

Simmons, who is under contract through 2025, will make an average of $35 million each of the next four seasons.

The 24-year-old made the All-NBA team in 2019-20, and has been named to two All-Defensive first teams. In 58 games last season, Simmons averaged 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists.

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