The Philadelphia 76ers‘ offseason took a sharp turn earlier this week with the news that star point man Ben Simmons had informed the team that he wanted out. Moreover, the three-time All-Star reportedly intends to skip training camp if necessary as a means to facilitate his exit.
Rumors of Simmons being inaccessible to Sixers brass throughout the offseason had already left some to wonder whether his days in Philly might be numbered. Now, it looks as though his fate is sealed.
Still, Sixers president Daryl Morey can’t just accept any deal the Aussie floor general. He must ensure a sizable return for Simmons; one that will aid Philly in its title pursuit in addition to providing quality assets.
For his part, Simmons is said to prefer a move to California. Unfortunately for him, trade talks with the team among that group that is perhaps best-suited to make a quality off have never gained traction, according to one insider.
The Athletic: Warriors Talks Have Yet to Develop
On Thursday, The Athletic’s Anthony Slater checked in with his intel on Simmons-centric discussion between the Golden State Warriors. And it wasn’t good news for the former No. 1 overall pick if he was hoping to team up with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson next season.
Per Slater, discussions between the two teams aren’t exactly dead, however, they haven’t really developed, either.
“The Warriors front office isn’t currently split on whether or not to accept a Ben Simmons trade offer from Philadelphia. There isn’t — and has never been — a realistic one on the table for them to discuss,” he wrote.
“Talks can’t be considered dead because they’ve never even really been alive, multiple sources confirm.”
The Warriors were reportedly one of the first clubs Morey called when Simmons was officially put on the trading block earlier this month. However — as has been the case in his dealings with other teams — his asking price was exceedingly high.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, Morey sought a package including a pair of former No. 1 overall picks in Andrew Wiggins and James Wiseman, as well as picks nos. seven and 14 in the 2021 NBA draft. He was also said to covet two additional future first-round selections in the deal.
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Why the Warriors Aren’t Biting
According to Slater, there are a handful of reasons that no deal between the Warriors and Sixers has come close to happening.
First and foremost, he believes there isn’t any level of desperation on either side to make something happen. Morey has been playing the long game all summer long (perhaps to his detriment, given the current circumstances). Meanwhile, Golden State has 14 players locked into guaranteed spots and hasn’t been actively shopping anyone on their roster.
He also noted that Warriors owner Joe Lacob is a big believer in James Wiseman and Jonathan Kuminga and has no desire to deal either player. “You can question his vision,” Slater commented. “But I wouldn’t be skeptical of the transparency.”
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