Philadelphia 76ers too wise to ever consider Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid in any trade

(Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers know including Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid in any trade for Kawhi Leonard would have been ridiculous.

As basketball fans continue to wrap their heads around Wednesday’s trade involving the San Antonio Spurs that included sending Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors, it looks like there’s some new crazy details involving the Philadelphia 76ers.

After failing to convince LeBron James to come on board following his decision to join the Los Angeles Lakers, all eyes were on the Sixers to see if the team would end up pulling the trigger for a trade to land Leonard from the Spurs.

For weeks, Philadelphia seemed like a strong landing spot for Leonard since unlike some of the other teams, the Sixers had plenty to offer the Spurs in return, including key players like Dario Saric or Robert Covington along with a future first-round pick.

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Turns out, San Antonio had a different idea in mind since they made it clear to Philadelphia that if there was any chance in them landing Leonard, Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid would need to be part of the deal, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe.

From Lowe:

"Philadelphia’s potential package of Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and the Heat’s unprotected 2021 pick didn’t move the needle. It’s unclear if the Spurs had interest in Markelle Fultz; the two sides never discussed him seriously, and the Sixers would not have parted with him, sources say. The Spurs made it clear any deal with Philly would require Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid (likely Simmons), and the Sixers weren’t going anywhere near that, league sources say."

Give the Sixers credit for making it clear they would never even consider the thought of using Simmons or Embiid in a trade package to acquire Leonard since that would have been absolutely foolish, although that never even seemed to be a concern.

The whole point of Philadelphia expressing interest in landing a superstar this offseason was to take advantage of having a young team on the rise led by Simmons and Embiid to give the Sixers a better chance of competing in the Eastern Conference against teams like the Boston Celtics.

In other words, giving up Simmons or Embiid as part of a deal to bring Leonard on board would have defeated the entire purpose since it would put them in a similar situation from this past season.

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Missing out on Leonard may seem disappointing, but if it meant Philadelphia would have been forced to give up one of their beloved youngsters, it never would have been worth it. At the end of the day, Simmons and Embiid are two of the key pieces that will make the Sixers serious contenders for years to come, so it’s a relief to see they never even considered the possibility of sending one of them to San Antonio.