The rumors connecting Ben Simmons to the Golden State Warriors just won’t seem to go away, and the new public drama between the Philadelphia 76ers and their unhappy All-Star has revived them once again.
After requesting a trade this summer, Simmons finally returned to the Sixers this month for what turned out to be a short-lived reunion. Simmons was tossed out of practice this week and handed a one-game suspension after reportedly refusing to take part in drills. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Simmons told teammates this week that he isn’t mentally ready to play and needs more time, leaving his status once again in limbo.
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Warriors Likely Not Interested
Though the Warriors reportedly passed on Simmons once already — turning down a pre-draft proposal that would have required them to send Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, and four first-round draft picks — there has still been some speculation among fans that Golden State could make a run at him. The Warriors are looking to jump back into title contention with the expected return of Klay Thompson later this season, and Simmons would likely be the best player they could add.
One fan asked NBC Sports Bay Area’s Kerith Burke if there is a chance Simmons could be on the Golden State roster by the end of the season, but she soundly shot down the idea.
“First, coach Steve Kerr has repeated frequently how much he likes this team,” Burke replied. “They have depth and veterans who are contributing well from the get-go. There’s no urgent need on the roster. If trades were gong to happen, the offseason was the time to make them. A shake-up now sets the team back in developing chemistry and understanding roles.
“Second, Philadelphia’s asking price for Simmons is too expensive. Even if the asking price is slashed out of desperation, the Warriors want to keep their young players and picks.”
The Warriors may not want to mess with a good thing. The roster changes — including the additions of Nemanja Bjelica and Otto Porter Jr. in free agency — have paid off and the team has looked sharp in a 2-0 start with wins over the Lakers and Clippers. With Thompson joining the roster in the coming months, the Warriors still have more room to improve without the need for a high-profile addition.
Simmons Drama Boils Over
While Golden State may not be the final destination for Simmons, the likelihood of some kind of trade seems greater after the events of the past week. Despite his return to the team, Simmons still appears estranged from the Sixers with no signs that the relationship will be mended anytime soon.
As Sam Quinn of CBS Sports reported, there has been speculation that the Sixers and Brooklyn Nets could solve their own internal problems by swapping Simmons for guard Kyrie Irving, whose future with his own team is equally uncertain as he has shown no indication that he will get vaccinated.
“One common solution to both problems that has been suggested has been a swap of the two. It would get Irving to Philadelphia, which has no vaccine mandate for professional athletes, and Simmons to Brooklyn, which satisfies his desire to play for any team aside from the 76ers,” Quinn wrote, adding that there have not been any talks between the teams yet.