Over the last few weeks, just about everything that could go wrong for the Sacramento Kings has, outside of major injuries. After a strong 5-4 start to the season, the Kings have dropped eight of their last nine games, with those losses coming at an average of 10.5 points per game. That horrific stretch cost Luke Walton his job, but Alvin Gentry's promotion didn't do much to spur the team to greatness, as they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night, despite the fact that the Sixers were quite literally missing their entire starting lineup.
With the team falling apart before the season has hardly begun, the timeline for Monte McNair's theoretical big trade may be fast approaching in order to save the season before it's totally lost, but according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Kings aren't engaged in talks to acquire the only star player currently available, Ben Simmons:
"And despite strong preseason chatter that a slow start in Sacramento could lead to a potential Ben Simmons trade with Philadelphia, there remains no significant current discussion between the Sixers and Kings. Fox and Tyrese Halliburton are still deemed unavailable, and second-year standout Tyrese Maxey has emerged as a legitimate starting point guard in Philadelphia."
Such a revelation isn't exactly shocking, as the same mantra of starters De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton being off of the table in those discussions has been broadcast since Simmons was put on the block, but it's important to note that the Sixers may not be enticed by those names even if they were added to the negotiations. Tyrese Maxey has been an absolute stud for Philadelphia this season, averaging 18.7 points and 4.6 assists on 51/39/89 shooting splits, and many would say that Maxey has been better than Fox this season, as he's putting up similar numbers on much better efficiency. And that's not even accounting for the difference in the two young guards' salaries and ages. Maxey is almost three years younger than Fox, and his salary is $26 million cheaper.
From Sacramento's perspective, a potential Simmons deal would solve a myriad of defensive issues that this team is facing, as well as address the festering wound that is the starting forward slot next to Harrison Barnes, but the Kings would undoubtedly need to surrender one of Fox or Haliburton in such a deal. Simmons' addition would also create further spacing issues for a team already struggling to knock down shots from beyond the arc, and his fit with either one of Fox or Haliburton would be questionable at best. And even if all of those issues were resolved, it's possible that the Sixers very much prefer the potential and low cost of Tyrese Maxey over either one of Sacramento's guards. Daryl Morey may simply wait for a bigger and better deal.
Sacramento's season is quickly falling apart, and if they don't turn things around, and turn them around soon, they're going to find themselves competing for lottery position, rather than a playoff spot, but a big-name trade for a player of Ben Simmons' caliber probably isn't on the horizon. It'll be up to the current roster to figure things out before the Kings find themselves trudging through another lost season.