Kings reportedly done pursuing 76ers’ Ben Simmons before trade deadline over steep asking price

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Ben Simmons won’t be headed to Sacramento before the trade deadline next month.

The Kings are done trying to pursue Simmons through a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The asking price to land Simmons was apparently “too steep,” and a “pathway to a trade agreement” doesn’t exist Wojnarowski reported.

Simmons has not played this season after he requested a trade before training camp, something he then skipped while he was in a tense standoff with the front office. In October, Simmons said he wasn’t “mentally ready to play.”

Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers
With the Kings now out of the picture, it’s unclear if Daryl Morey will still try to move Ben Simmons before the Feb. 10 trade deadline. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Since then, Simmons has been adamant that he wants to play elsewhere even though he is still being fined by the 76ers for not participating. He also reportedly is in no rush for a trade to go down, and is content waiting until the offseason.

There was speculation that the Kings were in talks with the 76ers to land Simmons, including potentially trading De’Aaron Fox, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes. Philadelphia president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said earlier this month that he thought there were potential deals with the Kings that “I think would work,” even if that means a third team got involved.

Morey’s asking price for Simmons, however, was too high.

Instead, the Kings will look elsewhere to bolster their roster before the Feb. 10 trade deadline. Sacramento entered Friday 18-32 and in 13th place in the Western Conference standings.

Simmons is currently in the second year of his five-year, $177 million deal with the 76ers.

It’s unclear what the 76ers will do with Simmons, though there are some front-office executives in the league that think there are talks currently between Brooklyn Nets star James Harden and the 76ers about an offseason move to get Harden to Philadelphia. Harden is reportedly unhappy with the Nets, and he could be the caliber of player Morey is looking for to swap Simmons.

If this happens, however, teams would consider asking the NBA to investigate the deal for tampering, according to a Yahoo Sports report from Chris Haynes.

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