Raptors: Ben Simmons likely out in Philly, Toronto hasn’t “appealed”

TAMPA, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 21: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives on DeAndre' Bembry #95 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 21: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives on DeAndre' Bembry #95 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

While the Toronto Raptors have been looking to retool their roster in order to get back to the postseason following their Tampa sabbatical, the Philadelphia 76ers have been trying to offload All-Star point guard Ben Simmons, as his horrendous playoff performance raised questions about his potential on a team with championship aspirations.

While the former No. 1 overall pick is one of the best defensive players in the NBA and a matchup nightmare as a 6-10 point guard, he remains unwilling to expand his game on offense and improve as a shooter, and Philly appears ready to commit to Joel Embiid instead of the LSU alum.

Considering that Kyle Lowry was, as we now know, in the early stages of planning his post-Raptors career, Toronto was mentioned as a potential destination for Simmons, especially considering the organizational premium placed on versatility and defense.

Not only did a trade fail to materialize, but it doesn’t look like one is happening in the near future.

Per Shams Charania, Simmons’ career in Philadelphia is all but over, with some around the league claiming it is a matter of “when” Simmons is dealt, not “if.” While the 76ers did discuss a Ben Simmons trade with Toronto, the package the Raptors were potentially willing to part with didn’t appeal to Daryl Morey.

The Toronto Raptors likely won’t trade for Ben Simmons.

The Sixers got far along in discussions with the Raptors and Timberwolves, but neither of them was able to come up with what Philly determines to be an attractive package. There is a multitude of reasons that a Simmons trade is likely not going to happen for the Raptors.

First and foremost, the 76ers’ asking price is way too high. Matt Moore of The Action Network reported that Philly originally wanted Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and the No. 4 pick for Simmons, though Toronto shut that deal down quickly.

Second, the Raptors aren’t able to offer Philly a very attractive package now that Lowry is in Miami and they already used the No. 4 pick on Scottie Barnes. Finally, Simmons himself rejected Toronto, citing a desire to play for a contending team in California like the Warriors.

While shot doctor Nick Nurse might’ve finally been the one who could unlock Simmons’ ability as a shooter, the fact that both Simmons himself and the 76ers appear unwilling to facilitate a trade with the Raptors should end the thoughts of Simmons wearing red and black.

With VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. ready to take over in the backcourt, Malachi Flynn eyeing a breakout year, and Barnes poised to come into his own, the Raptors won’t be ruined if they refuse a Simmons trade.

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