In the wake of reports that Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons will skip training camp while awaiting a trade, it appeared as though his days in Philly were likely numbered. However, new intelligence is indicating that the former No. 1 overall pick and multi-time All-Star could still be back with the club next season.
The Sixers are apparently operating under that assumption, anyway.
On Wednesday, Sixers insider Tom Moore dropped a bombshell report on the Simmons situation via Twitter. According to his sources, trade offers for the floor general continue to underwhelm team president Daryl Morey and the expectation is that no move will be made.
Consequently, Simmons will remain on the roster and Philly expects him to return to the court at some point.
“More #NBA source: ‘Eventually he’s going to show up. (#Sixers will) go from there.’ They apparently plan to fine Simmons if he doesn’t attend 2021-22 camp, preseason & so on,” Moore tweeted. “Don’t want to trade for draft picks & try to convert to players. Can’t get any of 5-10 NBA guys they like.”
Sixers Determined to Stay in the Title Picture
With an annual MVP candidate in Joel Embiid, a top coach in Doc Rivers and a quality supporting task in tow, the time is nigh for the Sixers to push their chips to the middle of the table. It’s a reality that Sixers brass is keenly aware of, per Moore, who further relayed that the team is only considering win-now maneuvers.
“The #76ers don’t plan on making a deal that would drop them back in standings & not getting viable offers,” he wrote in his initial report.
That is, of course, a reasonable position to take given the gravity of the situation. Title windows only last so long in the Association, and Morey and co. don’t want to squander theirs. Moreover, Simmons’ ego isn’t the only to consider in the situation; keeping Embiid happy is the higher priority.
If those things can’t be juggled, it’s unsurprising that Morey is ready to stand pat. That will make for some awkward circumstances to be sure, but the Sixers are said to be confident that things will play out in a satisfactory manner.
“It’s bumpy right now (& the team expects it) to get better,” Moore’s source said.
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If the Sixers are of the belief that Simmons will eventually relent and return to the fold — even if it takes fining him to facilitate it — the question is whether that’s actually any better than taking a lesser deal. There are a number of factors to consider in taking this path.
First and foremost, Simmons clearly wants to be elsewhere — and it’s understandable, really. Rivers and Embiid both threw him under the bus after Philly’s playoff ouster. And all the consternation and negotiation over Simmons developing a jump shot has played a part in damaging the relationship as well.
As a result, one has to wonder whether keeping him on the team could hurt in the locker room, as well as on the court.
Secondly, Morey may not be able to get a Damian Lillard or De’Aaron Fox for Simmons but someone like CJ McCollum could be obtainable. And while nobody is picking McCollum over Simmons for starting a franchise, the Blazers sharpshooter and some other bit pieces could be just enough over the next couple of years to give the Sixers a real shot at a title.
At the least, that could prove more fruitful than letting your team fall into a hole while Simmons sits, then having the entire situation blow up further when he comes back.
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