2022 NBA trade deadline rumors: 76ers may deal Ben Simmons in summer; Rockets open to Russ Westbrook reunion

The 2022 NBA trade deadline is just a couple weeks away on Feb. 10, and between now and then there will be no shortage of rumors circulating as every team in the league surveys their options for the rest of the season. Some squads may be looking to add that difference-maker as the playoffs near, while others may be looking to sell off players in hopes of rebuilding and heightening their draft night odds later this year. 

Already we’ve seen the Atlanta Hawks potentially gearing up for a bigger move, as they traded young guard Cam Reddish, Solomon Hill and a 2025 second-round pick to the New York Knicks in exchange for Kevin Knox II and a 2022 first-round pick. But all of the action is building to the deadline, so until then here’s all the latest rumors circulating around the league.

76ers prefer to deal Simmons in offseason for bigger prize

The trade deadline is a bit more than two weeks away, and Ben Simmons remains with the 76ers. He might also be on Philly’s roster after Feb. 10 as well. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Sam Amick, the team isn’t satisfied with what’s currently available on the trade market and prefer to wait until the summer to go after a bigger prize. 

Although Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal and Jaylen Brown remain on the Sixers’ radar, they are reportedly retaining some optimism that it can finally land James Harden, who’s currently a member of the Brooklyn Nets. Being able to land Harden, however, would be complicated. 

Rockets open to Westbrook-for-Wall trade, but for steep price

Russell Westbrook has not helped his trade value this season, but one team is open to acquiring the Lakers veteran guard, according to Marc Stein: the Houston Rockets. His old team is uniquely positioned to make a Westbrook trade because it employs a player who was already traded for Westbrook once before in John Wall. Both have identical contracts, make roughly $44 million this season and have player options for roughly $47 million in 2022-23. Still, the Rockets are not here to do the Lakers any favors. According to Stein, they seek the Lakers’ 2027 first-round pick as part of any deal.

Kings linked to Simmons and Harris, but want to keep Fox

One team reportedly remaining interested in not only acquiring Ben Simmons from the 76ers, but also Tobias Harris, is the Sacramento Kings. According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Sacramento is considering sending Buddy Hield, Tyrese Haliburton, Harrison Barnes and two first-rounders for Simmons, Harris plus Matisse Thybulle. Another of Pompey’s sources says no formal deal has been offered, and that Philly is not willing to part with Thybulle at this time.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the Kings will not trade point guard De’Aaron Fox and want to build their team around him and Haliburton. 

Ben Simmons willing to sit all year?

Disgruntled guard Ben Simmons has yet to suit up for the Philadelphia 76ers this season, and the Sixers have yet to find a suitable trade partner who would give them the package they’re seeking. It’s been reported that Simmons is willing to sit out the remainder of the season if he’s not traded by the Feb. 10 deadline, which could be a real possibility if Philly doesn’t lower its asking price for Simmons or find a team willing to give the Sixers everything they want. The Sixers are reportedly asking for an All-Star caliber player in return for Simmons, in addition to first-round picks. There are vey few teams in the league who would — or are able to — offer that, which means a deal for Simmons could evolve into a multi-team transaction.

It’s already been reported that the Sixers have no interest in a trade that would send Russell Westbrook to the Sixers in exchange for Simmons, and other teams around the league are trying their best to offer a deal that would grab the attention of Sixers president Daryl Morey. Right now, though, nothing has materialized.

Nets, Millsap to part ways

The Brooklyn Nets have agreed to part ways with veteran forward Paul Millsap and will work to find him a new team where he can have a bigger role, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Millsap signed with the Nets this offseason in an effort to compete for a title, but things have not worked out. Millsap is averaging 3.4 points and 3.7 rebounds on 37.6 percent shooting, and has played in just two games since Dec. 10. 

Celtics make Horford available as they pursue another center

The Boston Celtics completed a three-team trade Tuesday night, acquiring PJ Dozier and Bol Bol in the deal. They are likely not done making moves ahead of Feb. 10, as veteran big man Al Horford is being made available, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Boston is looking to make a switch at center for a player who will be more involved in its offense. Other names reportedly on the trade block are Josh Richardson and Dennis Schröder.

New York has already pulled off one deal before the deadline in getting Cam Reddish from the Atlanta Hawks, but it sounds like the team isn’t done in trying to stockpile guards. The Knicks have reportedly contacted Dallas about Jalen Brunson in the past, and apparently “want him bad.” But it’s unclear if the Mavericks would be willing to part with a guard who has become a full-time starter this season and is having the best year of his career while averaging 16 points and 5.7 assists. Brunson’s set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and if Dallas decides it can’t afford to keep him, then trading him while his value is at an all-time high would be the best path forward. 

However, Brunson has been invaluable in times when Luka Doncic has been sidelined, and he’s become that secondary ballhandler that Dallas has been searching for to pair with Doncic. So we’ll have to wait and see just how much Dallas values Brunson as the trade deadline nears.

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