In mid-October, during what seemed (at the time) like the apex of the continuing Ben Simmons melodrama, Philadelphia 76ers president Daryl Morey issued a major decree about how the situation was going to play out.
“Right now, if we traded Ben Simmons like he wants, all we would get back is role players, and that would make no sense,” Morey said, via 97.5 The Fanatic. “I would be prepared to strap in because it will take a while. Simmons is a difference-making player.”
“You’re going to think I’m kidding, I’m not. This could [go on for] four years,” he added. “We’re in the prime of Joel [Embiid’s] career… Either Ben Simmons is playing for us, or we have to get back a difference-maker.”
While that is the organizational tone set by Morey, there’s apparently a difference of opinion where what the best resolution to the Simmons problem actually is.
Ledlow: Sixers Brass ‘Split’ on Simmons
TNT’s Kristen Ledlow served up some new intel regarding the Sixers’ strategy with Simmons during the broadcast of Philly’s road bout with the Utah Jazz. As relayed by PhillyVoice’s Kyle Neubeck, via Twitter:
On broadcast just now, @KristenLedlow just said feedback from people she talked to within Sixers is split on Simmons approach. One, she said, believes they should welcome him back and he makes them better.
“Another tells me, ‘We got to cut the cord and move forward.'”
As it stands, the Sixers have weathered the storm of being without their All-Star floor general better than some might have expected, recent losses notwithstanding.
The Sixers currently sit in the No. 8 position in the Eastern Conference with a record of 8-7. Philly also boasts the league’s No. 2 offense, with an O-rating of 112.2. The team may be in the midst of a five-game losing streak, but much of that can probably be attributed to a rash of injuries and a recent mini-outbreak of COVID-19.
Once everyone is back and ready to go, there’s a lot to like about what the Sixers are cooking. If Simmons can get right mentally and be a part of that mix, it would be all the better. Philly could even compete for a title.
On the other hand, Simmons’ absence — and its effect on the team’s ability to defend and score in transition — could prove to be a tough hurdle if it persists. And while Morey wants top-line talent back in any deal for the former No. 1 overall pick, the team may be better served settling for a good return over a great one to stay in the fight.
Moreover, there are obvious concerns about his willingness to ever play again in Philly, as well as the effect that he might have in the Sixers’ locker room.
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Fan Shrugs Off Hit-and-Run to Complain About Simmons
A fan called into Sports Radio 94 WIP in Philly to complain about the Simmons situation when, suddenly, they found themselves in a situation of their own. Apparently, the person was hit by another motorist just before they were set to unburden themselves.
But that didn’t stop them from saying their piece. Via Kenneth P. Vogel and Barrett Sports Media: