NBA Rumors: Ben Simmons To Cavaliers Possible, Lauri Markkanen As Potential Trade Chip

JB Baruelo

Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons is currently the hottest commodity on the trading block. Unlike other superstars who are frequently mentioned in trade rumors, Simmons has been actively finding his way out of the City of Brotherly Love since the 2021 offseason started.

In the past months, Simmons has already been linked to several aspiring contenders that need additional star power and rebuilding teams that want to speed up their timeline. Among the young teams that have expressed strong interest in acquiring Simmons is the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Cavaliers Remain Interested In Acquiring Ben Simmons

In a recent newsletter on Substack, Marc Stein of New York Times discussed several interesting topics, including the Cavaliers' pursuit of Simmons. According to Stein, the signing of Lauri Markkanen in the 2021 free agency put the Cavaliers in a better position to obtain Simmons from the Sixers.

"[I] liked the Cavaliers' recent acquisition of Lauri Markkanen, even after the Cavs drafted Evan Mobley and re-signed Jarrett Allen, because they added Markkanen on a team-friendly contract that will be easy to trade if needed," Stein wrote. "This is no small thing when league sources say that Cleveland continues to keep its hat in the ring to try to pry Ben Simmons from the Sixers."

Basketball

NBA Rumors: Ben Simmons To Knicks For Kemba Walker, Julius Randle & Mitchell Robinson In Proposed Deal

According to Fansided's Hoops Habit, the Knicks could offer Kemba Walker, Julius Randle, and Mitchell Robinson to the Sixers in exchange for Ben Simmons.

Will The Sixers Be Interested In Lauri Markkanen?

Markkanen would be an intriguing acquisition for the Sixers. He may have gone through plenty of ups and downs during his stint with the Chicago Bulls but with his size and ability to space the floor, he has the potential to become the next Dirk Nowitzki.

However, Markkanen alone is unlikely to be enough to convince the Sixers to send Simmons to the Cavaliers. To land the former No. 1 pick, Adam Hermann of NBC Sports believes that the Cavaliers may also need to include Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman in their offer.

Lauri Markkanen Would Need To Accept Lesser Role In Philadelphia

The Sixers would also be an interesting trade destination for Markkanen. Compared to the Cavaliers, playing for the Sixers would give him a realistic chance of reaching the NBA Finals and capturing the Larry O'Brien Trophy in the 2021-22 NBA season.

However, there are also disadvantages to joining a title-contending team like the Sixers. With the presence of Tobias Harris at the starting power forward position and Joel Embiid at the starting center spot, Markkanen would likely need to accept a bench role in Philadephia next season.

Ben Simmons Gives Cavaliers A Centerpiece Of Their Rebuild

It's hardly surprising why the Cavaliers are interested in acquiring Simmons. He may still have major flaws in his game but compared to all the young players who are currently on the Cavaliers' roster, he definitely has a higher ceiling.

The potential arrival of Simmons in Cleveland would boost the Cavaliers' performance on both ends of the floor and give them a legitimate centerpiece of the next title-contending team that they are trying to build in the post-LeBron James era. It's worth noting that before Simmons was drafted as the No. 1 pick in 2016, he was frequently compared to James.

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