One of the few things better than free agent speculation is Draft Day trade speculation. As soon as the Doc Rivers to Philly news broke this tweet came across my timeline and even if it might be a little outrageous, I'm all in. I'll take all the fake trade speculation I can get at this point of the year.
Let me be as clear as I could possibly be. The Wolves say yes to this trade so fast it'll make your head spin. Now, the finances make things a little tricky. You imagine that if PHI is taking LaMelo, they aren't going to take back DLo. The idea would be to have the trio of DLO/Towns/Simmons. So how would the Wolves even make this work? Simmons salary starting in 2021 is $30M. I'm pretty sure that's the number you have to get to to make a trade work, and not his current $8M number. I'm not really sure how they pull it off. They have James Johnson's $16M player option if he opts in, then maybe you pair it with Jarrett Culver to give PHI a young piece as well. That takes you to around $22M. I would also imagine they'd have to include Malik Beasley who is in line for a new deal this offseason, so maybe his new number would make it work.
But let's pretend all that gets figured out. I'm sorry, but why on earth would the Sixers do this? What is Doc thinking? You do not break up Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid yet. We're talking about a First Team All NBA defender and someone who made 3rd Team All NBA. You don't get rid of that for an unknown Wolves prospect and LaMelo Ball. That would be a disaster for The Process. The Sixers should not be thinking about "fan appeal" right now. They should be thinking of ways to not be an underachieving disappointment in the Eastern Conference despite being called a title contender every offseason. I get why MIN would do it. With KAT and DLo being huge negatives on defense adding Simmons to that mix is great. You can play DLo off ball if you want, you have another playmaker on the roster, it makes sense for them.
I would find it hilarious if Doc comes in, is supposed to be this savior for the Sixers, and ends up trading their franchise player. I just can't see it. I want to believe this is something that could actually happen but I can't. We are at LEAST two more years of first or second round exits before you entertain the idea of breaking up Embiid/Simmons. But maybe Doc knows that nobody is going to take Horford/Tobias Harris and this is his only chance at improving his roster. Maybe that's why he took a 5 year deal.
Listen, I'll be the first one to admit I was wrong if this happens, but I can't see it. Sixers ownership and Elton Brand cannot be that dumb They just can't be. Right?