Ashley Landis/Associated Press
Ben Simmons‘ season is likely over, with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reporting Saturday that the Philadelphia 76ers guard will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, but the Cleveland Cavaliers may be interested in making the 2019-20 campaign his last in Philly.
According to Chris Fedor of cleveland.com, the Cavs believe they may have an “enticing” trade package to bring Simmons to Ohio this offseason:
“But the Cavs believe they have enough to assemble an enticing package, especially with recent first-rounders littering the roster, a top six pick coming in October and a future first from the Milwaukee Bucks.
“Those picks, combined with one of the young guys and some salary filler, is a good start. It’s also why the Cavs have spent the first few years of the post-LeBron era stockpiling assets. In any potential trade discussion, the Cavs would cling tightest to Kevin Porter Jr.”
Fedor added that Cleveland rookie guard Darius Garland could fit in a potential package. The Cavs also hold four first-round picks in the next three NBA drafts, including two in 2022.
Simmons was drafted No. 1 overall out of LSU in 2016 and has since averaged 16.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game through his first three seasons
Yet the guard has also been troubled by injuries throughout his career, which has derailed the Sixers offense.
He missed his first season as a pro in 2016-17 because of a foot injury and worked through a back injury in 2018 and shoulder and wrist issues in 2019. He was out indefinitely with a back injury prior to the league’s hiatus in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The hiatus allowed Simmons to return to full strength for the league’s restart in late July, but a partially dislocated kneecap has sidelined him once again.
When healthy, Simmons has the versatility, talent, court vision and ball-handling skills to help transform Cleveland’s lineup, but it remains to be seen whether the Sixers would be willing to move on from one of their franchise cornerstones.