Every day it seems like there is a new development in regards to star Ben Simmons. Simmons was suspended for not participating in a defensive drill leading to Doc Rivers telling him to go home.
Simmons stated that he was not mentally ready to play on the court, and the situation can ultimately drag on for months.
Philadelphia 76ers Still Have to Play on Without Ben Simmons
The Philadelphia 76ers made it clear that they will have to play without Simmons for the time being. After facing criticism from his teammates especially from star Joel Embiid, Embiid went on to say and told fans that they should still support Simmons because he is still part of the franchise.
Still, it looked like the 76ers needed another defensive-minded star that could also dish the basketball as the offense collapsed against the Brooklyn Nets late.
It’s been over 120 days since the 76ers got eliminated in the 2021 playoffs in Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks.
Even though Ben Simmons wasn’t a big factor in the playoffs, the team had numerous opportunities to close the series and face the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals.
With 5:32 left in the fourth quarter against the Nets, the 76ers saw their ten-point lead dwindle away as they lost 114-109 at home. In the last five minutes, the unit was only able to muster up one point.
Simmons may not be great at spacing the floor as he is not a great shooter, but he is one of the best defensive players in the league.
Kevin Durant took advantage of the matchup as he had a triple-double at the midway point of the third quarter.
While the loss isn’t a big deal as it was just the second game of the season, the team showed shades of their playoff struggles. This is the franchise’s third time in their last five games where they have blown double-digit leads.
76ers Likely to Wait Until December 15th before Pursuing a Trade
GM Daryl Morey was able to avoid the James Harden situation as he took the 76ers general manager before Harden forced his way to being traded to the Brooklyn Nets. However, Morey has been content with playing the waiting game to find the right trade partner as he stated that “People should buckle in”.
There is no question that the partnership needs to end with the 76ers as the organization has championship aspirations.
On the other hand, Morey refuses to concede Simmons’ value as he is still a star in this league. Morey said that the team will not settle for less by taking role players in a potential trade.
As of right now, the 76ers asking price is way too high as they are asking for multiple players and a ton of first-round draft picks.
The 76ers will most likely wait until December 15th as players who were deemed untradeable will be available for potential negotiations.
Free agents that sign a new contract in the offseason cannot be dealt until this specific date.
Still, there are some phone calls to be made before the date as Simmons has four years left on his contract. It will also be extremely difficult to find the right pieces to match his contract in any trade talks.
Simmons, who stated that he was not mentally ready to play at this moment, may need to work his way to find an environment where there isn’t too much pressure.
Whether his reason for not playing is due to his injury or not, his confidence to be a leader on the court has definitely taken a hit over the years.
The Portland Trail Blazers weren’t interested in the 76ers offer, and the 76ers turned down the Indiana Pacers’ offer this offseason.
One team I believe that is perfect for Simmons is the Sacramento Kings. The Kings are still rebuilding as they had a rough last two decades as they made it to the Western Conference Finals in the 2001-02 season.
The Kings have players like Buddy Hield ( can score/can be used to match contract), Marvin Bagley (a young player that can use a change in scenery), and draft picks.