The percolating Ben Simmons trade mess has reached a rolling boil. Yesterday, it was reported that Simmons informed the Philadelphia 76ers he was likely to hold out from training camp if he isn’t traded. This public demand may have the unfortunate consequence of making Simmons harder to trade. The 76ers have already had a hard time finding a satisfying return and the public demand shaves off a bit of their precious leverage.
All that makes it more likely the 76ers may have to include another young asset to get the deal they really want. And it sounds like that asset might be Tyrese Maxey.
How could Tyrese Maxey change a Ben Simmons trade?
Maxey had some impressive moments during his rookie season and finished averaging 18.8 points, 4.6 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals per 36 minutes. His outside shooting is still a major question mark — he made 30.1 percent of 103 attempts last season — but he’s electric in the open court and hyper-aggressive at the defensive end.
Any team that is concerned about the risk that comes with trading for Simmons could feel a little safer with Maxey’s upside as part of the bargain. There are still plenty of challenges to getting a deal done. Maxey probably doesn’t move the needle for the Portland Trail Blazers and the issue for the Minnesota Timberwolves is their unwillingness to part with a core piece like D’Angelo Russell or Anthony Edwards, neither of which would be changed by Maxey.
But for a team like the Sacramento Kings or the Golden State Warriors, his inclusion might be enough to help get a potential deal over the finish line before the 2021-22 season starts.