NBA Trade Rumours: What’s up on Bradley Beal, Donovan Mitchell for the Sixers?
The Ben Simmons saga in Philadelphia ended in February. Although Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey teased the saga could go on for several years, the Brooklyn Nets’ inability to keep James Harden happy served as a way out much earlier.
Simmons, Seth Curry and Andre Drummond went to Brooklyn on draft pay. Meanwhile, the Sixers landed Harden and former All-Star forward/center Paul Millsap.
Morey’s home run ended in another strikeout for the Sixers. After another second-round outing, the Sixers entered the offseason with the challenge of building a true contender around Embiid.
Tyrese Maxey’s emergence as a sophomore has the Sixers believing he should be marked as untouchable, according to multiple reports. Joel Embiid is obviously not going anywhere. While James Harden could jump into the free agency market and find a new home, he’s confident he’ll be in Philadelphia next season.
Daryl Morey mentioned Tobias Harris a lot during his exit interview as if the plan was to keep the borderline All-Star in Philly for next year, but that might just be Morey’s way of keeping the veteran happy while he tries to find a team that is willing to take on his rather high salary.
Based on reports, the Sixers seem determined to build around Embiid, Harden and Maxey as the main guys. And according to ESPN Brian Windhorst, Morey isn’t done looking for another star after landing one for Simmons and others last season.
Who is available?
Excellent question. Last season, the Sixers were repeatedly linked to Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard. While the Blazers were constantly disappointed, the basketball world waited for Lillard to grow unhappy and finally demand an out. It never happened.
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It turns out that Lillard’s undying public loyalty to the Blazers is real. He won’t ask for a trade and the Blazers remain committed to building around him even after selling longtime sidekick CJ McCollum. Damian Lillard was and still is a pipe dream for the Sixers.
Another star frequently linked with Philadelphia last season was Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal. Similar to Lillard, Beal’s team struggled to build a competitor around him, but that didn’t force the star keeper to ask for a trade.
Beal has a $36 million player option for this season. He could decline it and hit the open market or return to Washington. According to Jake Fischer of Launderer’s reportthe latter option appears to be Beal’s plan even though the Wizards finished the 2021-22 season with a 35-47 record, missing the playoffs for the third time in five seasons.
Another notable name that has come up in trade rumors this offseason is Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell. As the Jazz’s post-season struggles persist, there have been rumors that Utah’s star duo Mitchell and Rudy Gobert could part ways, resulting in a trade for one or both stars .
However, Jake Fischer reports that Mitchell should “stay committed” to the organization that drafted him 13th overall in 2017. The commitment has to be mutual, of course, but there doesn’t seem to be any real smoke surrounding a trade Mitchell this time – even though the All-Star was spotted on the field at South Philly during the Sixers’ second-round series against the Miami Heat.
A lot can change as the offseason progresses, but right now the market for star players is dry.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.
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