Some people thought he was joking. Morey was dead serious. The savvy executive has no intention of backing down from the insane haul he wants in return for Simmons. Morey made a surprise appearance on the Mike Missanelli Show on 97.5 The Fanatic on Thursday, October 21 where he provided his not-so-comical timeline.
“People should buckle in, this is going to go a long time because our only task, my only job is to help us get the best chance to win the title,” Morey told Missanelli, via NBC Sports. “You’re going to think I’m kidding, I’m not, this could be four years. The conditions I’m pointing out to you don’t change. We have to get back either Ben Simmons playing well for us, who helps us win the championship, or we have to get back a difference-maker for Ben Simmons.”
That was the second truth bomb going off on the Simmons’ situation that day. Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce called out the disgruntled basketball star for not putting in the work to get better. Philly fans expect a certain level of commitment, one that Simmons isn’t giving. Morey seems willing to wait it out until he does.
“We would want him to play and be back starting tomorrow. But if he chooses to take some other path, that’s his choice,” Morey said, via Philly Voice. “Every day, we’re going to expect Ben Simmons to be back here, or we’re trading him for a difference-maker.”
The latest Sixers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Sixers newsletter here!
No Difference-Makers on Open Market
Morey attempted to trade for James Harden last year, but talks fell apart (via CBS Sports) when the Houston Rockets asked for Tyrese Maxey. Good thing for that since he’s now the starting point guard, an exciting young player coming off a breakout game in the season opener. Ironically, Simmons was “pretty ecstatic” to not be traded (via Marc J. Spears) at the time of the rumored Harden deal.
Nine months later, Simmons is doing everything humanly possible to get traded. Only problem, Morey refuses to settle for anything less than an All-Star in return. Who’s out there? Damian Lillard is staying in Portland, off the market. Ditto for Bradley Beal who committed to Washington’s rebuild. De’Aaron Fox is a name to monitor, although Sacramento seems reluctant to trade him.
Other options include packages centered around either CJ McCollum (Portland), Malcolm Brogdon (Indiana), Collin Sexton (Cleveland), Dejounte Murray (San Antonio), Buddy Hield (Sacramento), De’Angelo Russell (Minnesota) – all huge downgrades in the grand scheme of things.
“I can’t determine what other teams would want to do in trades, I can just take at face value what they’ll do,” Morey said, via Philly Voice. “And we know that any trade that doesn’t bring a difference-maker back for Ben Simmons is a bad move for us to win the title.”
Sixers Set for Home Opener
The Sixers host the Brooklyn Nets on Friday, October 22 in their home opener. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Wells Fargo Center. All fans in attendance will receive an Opening Night T-shirt, courtesy of Independence Blue Cross.
The team announced their entire promotion schedule for the year:
- Opening Night: Friday, Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. vs. Brooklyn Nets (ESPN)
- Military Appreciation Night: Thursday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. vs. Toronto Raptors (NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBA TV)
- 76ers vs. Golden State Warriors: Saturday, Dec. 11 at 8:30 p.m. (ABC)
- Pride Night: Monday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. vs. Houston Rockets (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
- Go Green Night: Monday, March 21 at 7 p.m. vs. Miami Heat (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
- 76ers Kids Day: Saturday, April 2 at 12:30 p.m. vs. Charlotte Hornets (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
- Fan Appreciation Night: Sunday, April 10, time TBD, vs. Detroit Pistons (NBC Sports Philadelphia)