Maybe the Philadelphia 76ers are trying to drive the price up on Ben Simmons. Or perhaps one key member of the front office is just a really huge fan of one particular dunk from his franchise point guard. Either way, people are talking about NBA Top Shot.
The online marketplace for “digitized moments” allows fans to purchase highlights and “own the plays” from their favorite hoops moments, all officially licensed by the NBA. Sixers president Daryl Morey made headlines on Monday night when he bought a Legendary Holo Icon of Simmons throwing down a nasty slam earlier this season against the Utah Jazz.
Morey spent $4,444 on the digital asset so the narrative has quickly jumped from the team trying to trade Simmons to the 24-year-old staying in Philly. Remember, Morey recently met with Simmons’ agent Rich Paul to discuss the future.
“We have a very strong group we believe in,” Morey told reporters after the season. “None of us can predict the future of what’s going to happen in any, in any place. We love what Ben brings, we love what Joel brings, we love what Tobias [Harris] brings. In terms of what’s next, we’re going to do what’s best for the 76ers to give us the best chance to win the championship with every single player on the roster.”
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Simmons Trade Value Remains ‘Pretty High’
The idea of Simmons’ trade value taking a hit after a frustrating postseason appears to be greatly embellished. According to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, the Sixers star should have no problem finding a new home if Philly believes it is time to move on.
The negative chatter around him is only driving the price down, something that rival executives are secretly laughing about behind closed doors. Simmons’ value is “actually higher than what’s being publicly portrayed,” per Mannix.
“I hear from executives all the time that are loving this ‘Ben Simmons trade value has cratered’ conversation because they hope that Philadelphia believes that,” Mannix told “The Ringer” podcast, via FanSided. “But you’re going to continue to hear a lot of the negativity around Ben Simmons. In other words, I think people value him pretty high across the league because I do think there’s a belief that someone’s going to figure the shooting thing out.”
Sixers Praised for Seth Curry Trade
CBS Sports named Seth Curry No. 1 on their list of “Top Breakout Players” in the NBA playoffs while giving a nice shout-out to Morey for executing the trade. The Sixers swapped Josh Richardson and the No. 36 pick in last year’s draft for the three-point specialist. Sure, the Sixers got bounced in the second round of the playoffs but don’t blame Curry.
He set career-highs in postseason points per game (18.8), assists per game (2.3), rebounds per game (2.3) while shooting 50.6% from beyond the arc. He also flashed the ability to get into the lane and work magic on pick-and-roll opportunities. Here is what they wrote:
Curry wound up shooting 58 percent from the field over 12 postseason games. More impressively, he shot over 50 percent from 3 on almost seven attempts per game. Narrowed to just the Atlanta series, Curry averaged 21 points per game on 60-percent shooting, including 59 percent from 3 on 7.4 attempts per game. We already knew he could shoot with the best in the world, but Curry proving himself as a legit go-to scorer in tight postseason possessions was a revelation.
Borderline genius move since Curry is under contract for two more years in Philly. Kudos to Morey for that one.