After months of talking about the possibility of Philadelphia 76ers All-Star guard Ben Simmons being traded, there’s been no indication that a move is on the horizon. However, that doesn’t mean the Sixers won’t stop trying. While no trade package has materialized that Philly would consider, Simmons’ days with the franchise still seem to be numbered, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
So far, Simmons’ situation remains the same. While the 76ers have told teams they are comfortable bringing Simmons back for the 2021-22 season, rival executives believe it’s only a matter of when – not if – the All-Defensive team stalwart is moved.
For now, all signs continue to point to Simmons’ career in Philadelphia coming to an end.
The Sixers have reportedly talked to several teams about a deal for Simmons, including the Raptors and Timberwolves, but neither packages met the high asking price Philadelphia is requiring in these trade discussions. It’s been previously reported that the Sixers want an All-Star-caliber player in return for Simmons, but no team in the league has offered that thus far. The Timberwolves are reportedly “motivated” to pair Simmons with franchise centerpiece Karl-Anthony Towns, but a trade involving them would require a third team as the likes of D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jaden McDaniels aren’t intriguing enough alone for Philadelphia, per Charania.
While nothing has come to fruition just yet, the Sixers don’t appear to be rushing anything along, and are reportedly fine with having Simmons on the roster when the season starts. However, after some pretty pointed criticism made by head coach Doc Rivers and Joel Embiid following the Sixers’ disappointing second-round exit in the playoffs, keeping the All-Defensive guard on the roster this upcoming season could create some unwanted tension amongst the team.
As other teams around the league pitch the Sixers on a deal for Simmons, Philadelphia reportedly still has its eyes on Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard, who has voiced his frustrations with the franchise’s future this summer. Lillard hasn’t asked for a trade, but his comments throughout the offseason likely don’t make the Blazers feel completely secure in him staying in Portland for the duration of his contract, which is set to expire in 2025 if he opts into his player option for the final year.
A straight-up trade of Simmons for Lillard would work, but Portland has made it clear that Lillard isn’t available. The 76ers now have to decide if they want to wait out Lillard to see if he forces a trade in the near future, or if a deal elsewhere satisfies them. Right now, all signs point to Simmons at least starting the season with the Sixers, unless a trade materializes in the next month and a half.
Courtesy: CBS Sports