In case you haven't heard, no, the Philadelphia 76ers have not traded Ben Simmons yet.
Philly has managed to tread water this season without the All-Star point guard, posting a 10-10 record even with Joel Embiid missing time after testing positive for COVID-19. With the rise of teams like the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards, the 76ers can't afford to be too patient while waiting for a star to become available to try and swap Simmons for, even though one Sixers source told The Athletic's Sam Amick that "this is like a multiyear thing."
Amick also reports that there are "approximately 30 players who would satisfy the Sixers in a Simmons swap, and there's an internal belief that a fair amount of them—let's say 5-10—could become available in the next year or two."
While players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry are likely on this list of 30, they certainly aren't possibilities for president of basketball operations Daryl Morey to acquire.
His history of running the Houston Rockets front office suggests Morey will chase the biggest (at least somewhat realistic) stars first, even if he ultimately has to settle for a smaller return.
Even if he has to package Simmons with other talent and/or draft picks, the following 10 players seem like the likeliest he has been pursuing.
10. Dillon Brooks, G/F, Memphis Grizzlies
Starting things out on the realistic side, the Memphis Grizzlies seem like a sneaky-good trade partner for Philadelphia.
Brooks, 25, is averaging a career-high 18.2 points per game to go along with 3.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.8 steals and a 35.5 percent mark from three. He's on a terrific contract, with $12.2 million this season and just $11.4 million owed in 2022-23.
A straight Brooks-Simmons swap doesn't work financially, however, and the Sixers should be asking for more talent in return as well.
The Grizzlies have some other helpful win-now vets (Kyle Anderson, Tyus Jones) and young talent (Desmond Bane, De'Anthony Melton, Brandon Clarke) that could be assembled into a nice trade package for Simmons. Memphis also has 10 picks coming in the next three drafts, including six first-rounders.
Brooks may not be the star Morey is seeking, but he could be the centerpiece of a nice haul from Memphis.
New Potential Sixers Lineup: PG Tyrese Maxey, SG Seth Curry, SF Dillon Brooks, PF Tobias Harris, C Joel Embiid
9. Dejounte Murray, PG, San Antonio Spurs
Murray is off to a career year, and is one of only three NBA players (along with Luka Doncic and Russell Westbrook) to be averaging at least 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists this season (18.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 8.1 assists in 34.8 minutes).
The 25-year-old point guard is also tied for fourth in the league in steals (2.1 per game) and is a defensive menace who could make up for a lot of what the Sixers are missing with Simmons out.
Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported last month that Philly wasn't interested in a package of Murray and Lonnie Walker IV, but there's a number of variations of trade offers the Spurs could put together centered on Murray.
San Antonio would need to either include Derrick White or Thaddeus Young to get close to matching Simmons' $33 million salary, and there's additional young talent on the roster (Walker, Devin Vassell, Tre Jones) to try and tempt Philly with assuming Keldon Johnson is untouchable.
Even though Murray is just a 33.0 percent three-point shooter for his career, that's still an improvement over Simmons, whom opponents didn't need to respect when he was outside the arc at all.
Like Dillon Brooks with the Memphis Grizzlies, Murray is a "starting point" player in trade talks for the Sixers, who will be looking for more star power at first.
New Potential Sixers Lineup: PG Dejounte Murray, SG Tyrese Maxey, SF Matisse Thybulle, PF Tobias Harris, C Joel Embiid