This whole summer seemed like a bad scene kept replaying itself in the minds of Sixers fans. That scene was Ben Simmons passing up a wide open dunk in a shocking loss to the Atlanta Hawks to end their season. The next step was to trade him.
However, that step never occurred. Instead we entered a staredown match between Simmons and the Sixers front office. Simmons wants out and the Sixers want to move him, but nothing has materialized.
Simmons was fed up with not being moved that he missed the beginning of training camp and a few preseason games. He doesn’t care that he is losing money and is trying to force their hand. The problem is that the front office is not going to sell him short and want the asking price they set back in June.
After claiming he was never going to play another second with the Sixers, Simmons and his agent have decided that he is going to show up. That might happen within the next week. Now we are wondering what will happen next?
Can He Avoid the Hate?
The fans in Philadelphia are very loud and passionate. They are not afraid to voice their opinion on a player or team. Simmons has had to face those fans all offseason.
His performance in the 2021 playoffs was nothing short of frustrating. He was a scared soul out there on the court. Simmons didn’t want the ball or to even look at the basket.
We talked about the open dunk, but that was just the breaking point. He shot only five times in all of the fourth quarters combined. Then there was the abysmal free throw percentage, which was 34.2%.
The hate was all over the place this summer. Podcasts, social media, local news, and so much more. That is one of the reasons why he never wanted to come back; he didn’t want to face the boos.
There is only one way to avoid the hate he is so fearful of. That is to come back and play hard, shoot more, and show he cares. If he cares, then we will see that side of him.
A betting man might not take that bet, but maybe there is a glimmer of hope. The hate is lurking for Simmons, but there is a chance it can be avoided.
The Final Step
The final step is very simple; it is a trade elsewhere. This partnership has run its course. That playoff series can never be forgotten.
A trade should have happened a long time ago, but the Sixers front office know what they want. The price is very steep. Either another All-Star will be in the package, or several draft picks will be dealt to them. There has been no sense of meeting in the middle.
So many teams have lined themselves to be in the Simmons sweepstakes. However, none of them met the requirements that the Sixers have set. Eventually, something needs to give.
Simmons and Joel Embiid have shown that they do not mesh well with one another on the court. Simmons has made it clear he does not want to be there. The front office has not hidden their feelings about trading him.
We all want star players, or tons of draft capital for a disgruntled player. The difference is that all these teams watched the playoffs and remember what transpired. A trade needs to happen for both sides to move on and better themselves for the future.