Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers hit a breaking point this week after it was announced that Simmons was willing to sit out of training camp until he gets traded. There have been rumors ever since last year’s playoffs that Simmons was on his way out of Philly, but after he remained with the team through the summer, some began to wonder if he would stay put this season.
Following a recent report from 76ers Insider Keith Pompey, the trade now seems inevitable.
How Did We Get Here?
Following last season’s 76ers exit, Head Coach Doc Rivers said that he was unsure if Simmons could lead a team to a championship. This seems to be when the drama began as Simmons then reportedly cut off communication with the entire team. This included the big man, fellow star and MVP runner-up Joel Embiid.
But why would Simmons take issue with one of the more beloved players in the NBA in Embiid?
Embiid had called out Simmons during the playoffs last year for his lack of aggressiveness. It was manifested when Simmons passed up an opportunity for a wide-open dunk. Embiid seemed frustrated because of this, and this led to a rift between the players. Although Embiid has denied having any issue with Simmons publicly, there certainly is some bad blood between the two.
Who is Interested?
Simmons is going to be traded before the season begins. The question is, which teams will be a landing destination for the 25-year-old? Naturally, a number of teams have been linked to the 76ers in a possible trade.
Some teams which have been rumored to have interest include: the Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers, and Toronto Raptors, among others.
Simmons has expressed interest in moving to the west coast, but in the end, he will go wherever the 76ers end up trading him. Still, if a Western Conference team hears that Simmons has a desire to play there, they could be more aggressive in their pursuit of acquiring him.
The other topic of discussion is position. Simmons is currently a 6-foot, 10-inch point guard. Many people around the league believe that he would be better suited at a different position, such as small or power forward.
Some teams may only be interested in a trade if Simmons was willing to switch positions. One such team would likely be the Warriors. They are already set at point guard with Steph Curry locked up for multiple years.
If Simmons were to head to Golden State, there is a good chance the Warriors would move him to forward. The question is, would Simmons accept this change?
If he is stubbornly set on point guard, this could derail possible trade opportunities because teams may choose to avoid the drama. However, if he is open to a position change, then that would make creating a deal much easier for the 76ers.
We will sit back and watch to see where Simmons ends up. The one thing we know is that the question is not if, but rather when will Ben Simmons get traded?