Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers have reached an ugly point in their relationship, but can Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey find a deal to trade him?
Thanks to an incredible disappearing act from Simmons in the NBA playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks, the Sixers are reportedly looking to move him. Given this lack of confidence from his team, Simmons himself is eager to move on to greener pastures.
Ben Simmons wants out, the Sixers want to be rid of him, but the rest of the NBA doesn’t seem interested. How can this situation be resolved?
Simmons has indicated that he won’t report for training camp later this month and that he’s more than willing to pay the resulting fines that arise from the no-show nature of his discontentment.
The Sixers are asking for a king’s ransom in exchange for Simmons in a trade, which is a tough ask when the whole NBA saw his playoff performance. Having seen players like James Harden and even Jrue Holiday fetch monster hauls in trades last season, Philadelphia seeks something similar for their own young star.
However, James Harden is one of the best players in the NBA, and Jrue Holiday was the finishing piece to a Milwaukee Bucks squad looking to convince Giannis Antetokounmpo to sign a long-term extension and ended up winning a championship.
Ben Simmons is not James Harden, and he is not Jrue Holiday nor will he qualify for the unique situation Holiday and the Bucks found themselves in.
So we’ve established what each party wants, but what is the reality of the situation? The Sixers want a huge return for Simmons, and he wants out, but something is going to have to give somewhere. This isn’t a situation that can go on forever, and it’s almost certain that neither the Sixers nor Simmons are going to be happy with the eventual outcome.
How will this deadlock between Ben Simmons and the Sixers play out?
Somebody is going to have to bend in this stalemate. There’s no reason for teams around the NBA to do so because Simmons is not a highly coveted asset. So that leaves it to Simmons and the Sixers to find a compromise betwixt themselves. The Sixers don’t need to be in any hurry to make a deal, but Simmons does not become more desirable to other teams by sitting out for an extended period of time.
Both Simmons and the Sixers seem to be operating under the assumption that the rest of the NBA didn’t see the postseason display that led to this rift in the first place, but these things did not happen in a vacuum. Simmons doesn’t believe it’s his job to rehabilitate his own trade value, but if he isn’t on the floor for the Sixers, and he tanks his trade value further, Philly has no real incentive to trade him for pennies on the dollar.
The only real solution, shy of the Sixers or some other team making a big mistake, is for Ben Simmons to eventually throw in the towel on his protest and get back to work. He can rehabilitate that trade value and make himself worth something akin to what the Sixers are demanding for him, but hanging out at the beach and releasing workout and pickup game videos isn’t going to do a thing to sway teams around the league.
Ben Simmons has control of the situation and should exercise it expeditiously.