Could Ben Simmons have a new home in the NBA?




The Boston Celtics have reportedly expressed interest in trading for Philadelphia 76ers Australian point guard Ben Simmons.

The report, in The Athletic on Monday, described the talks as “fluid with no traction as of yet,” and said any potential deal must include Boston forward Jaylen Brown.

Simmons, a three-time All-Star, has yet to play for the 76ers this season. The team reportedly began fining him his $US360,000 ($A486,000) match fees last Friday for each contest he misses.

Simmons, 25, has told the organisation he is working on his mental health but has refused to accept any help from team physicians.

Simmons has four years and $US147 million ($A198 million) left on his five-year contract. He has averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists in 275 games since Philadelphia drafted him No.1 overall in 2016 — two spots ahead of Brown.

Brown, 25, made his first All-Star team last season and is averaging a career-high 25.6 points through eight games this season. He is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Meanwhile, Patty Mills has earned admission into Blake Griffin’s “Blue Collar Boys” club as their Brooklyn Nets broke a six-year NBA losing streak in Canada.

The Nets’ 116-103 defeat of the Toronto Raptors was their fifth straight victory, moving Steve Nash’s men to 7-3 and second in the Eastern Conference behind Philadelphia (8-2).

Not since 2015 had the Nets beaten the Raptors over the border, Mills’ 13 points again handy as they broke a run of 10 straight losses in Canada.

Kevin Durant (31 points, seven rebounds, seven assists) and James Harden (28 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists) were in ominous form, scoring at will in the second half to peg back an early deficit.

Forward Blake Griffin, who last season with Joe Harris instigated a “hard-hat celebration” to recognise tough plays, reserved his praise for Boomers star Mills post-game though.

After drawing fouls with some hard-nosed defence in their previous game, Griffin had said Mills’ submitted his membership to the “Blue Collar Boys”.

“As of today, Patty Mills is officially in the Blue Collar Boys,” Griffin said when quizzed of the submission post-game.

“Give it to Patty and it’s a win for all of Australia as well.”

He joked that Durant still “has to jump through a few hoops” to join them.

It’s a sign the high-profile outfit is clicking even without Kyrie Irving, who remains unavailable until he receives his COVID-19 vaccination.

After leading Australia to bronze at the Tokyo Games, the former San Antonio Spurs title winner is shooting at 50 per cent from the field and averaging 10.6 points, 2.8 assists and two rebounds in 25 minutes per game for his new club.

Meanwhile Josh Giddey nailed a deep triple and slipped a no-look assist for the decisive bucket as Oklahoma City again roped in a large deficit for a third NBA win this season.

The Thunder rallied from 16 points down to beat the San Antonio Spurs 99-94, the Australian No.6 draft pick managing seven points, seven rebounds and four assists to go with four turnovers.

Joe Ingles (five points, three rebounds, six assists) made just one-of-seven from beyond the arc as Utah were upset 107-100 by Orlando.

The Magic moved to 3-8 as the Jazz (7-3) had no answer to Cole Anthony’s efficient 33 points.





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