NBA Rumors: Ben Simmons-To-Cavaliers Trade Possible, Darius Garland As Main Trade Chip

Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles the ball against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on December 31, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
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Instead of undergoing a full-scale rebuild, the Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to be more aggressive in building a competitive roster in the 2020 offseason. After the team acquired Andre Drummond before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline, rumors are circulating that the Cavaliers will be going after another star who will be available on the trade market this fall. According to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, one of the most realistic trade targets for the Cavaliers is Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers.

As of now, the Sixers haven’t shown any strong indication that they are planning to break the young superstar duo of Simmons and Joel Embiid, but they could change their mind if they suffer a huge disappointment in the 2020 playoffs. Once Simmons becomes officially available on the trading block, Fedor believes that Cleveland could assemble an enticing package that includes former No. 5 overall pick Darius Garland and multiple future first-round selections.

“One executive who spoke with cleveland.com believes the Sixers will need to choose between Simmons and Joel Embiid — if Philly has an earlier-than-expected playoff exit. The Cavs, of course, would have interest in Simmons. He possesses the talent and versatility to immediately alter the team’s future. The Sixers would want a haul for the 2016 No. 1 pick who is locked up through 2023-24 and will probably be named to the All-Defense First Team. 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.”

Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers dunks the ball past LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second quarter at the Wells Fargo Center on April 6, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  Mitchell Leff / Getty Images

Sending Garland and multiple first-rounders to Philadelphia in exchange for Simmons would be a no-brainer for the Cavaliers. Simmons still has plenty of things that he needs to improve in his game, including his three-point shooting, but he has huge superstar potential. Since he entered the league, he has been frequently compared to Los Angeles Lakers small forward LeBron James, who led the Cavaliers to their first NBA championship title in 2016.

Though he’s yet to unlock his floor-spacing ability, the potential acquisition of Simmons this fall would tremendously improve the Cavaliers’ performance on both ends of the floor, giving them a very reliable scoring option, rebounder, playmaker, and lockdown defender. This season, the 24-year-old point forward is averaging 16.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 8.0 assists, and 2.1 steals on 58.0 percent shooting from the field, per ESPN.

Being traded to a rebuilding squad like the Cavaliers would also end up being beneficial for Simmons. As mentioned in a previous The Inquisitr article, moving out of the shadow of Embiid to play for a team where he could be officially considered the face of the franchise and the No. 1 option on the offensive end of the floor would give him a realistic chance of reaching “full-fledged superstardom.”