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Ben Simmons trade market shrinking on eve of NBA season

Vincent Frank

With the 2021-22 NBA regular season set to get going with a doubleheader on Tuesday, we’re no closer to a Ben Simmons end game with the Philadelphia 76ers than we were months ago.

By now, you likely know that Simmons has requested a trade from the Sixers. While the three-time All-Star did report to the team and practice on Monday, there’s no telling what’s going to happen.

What we do know is that Ben Simmons and his team are not in the best of situations following an early departure from the playoffs a season ago. With the trade market seemingly shrinking, things might end up on the back burner for some time.

That’s now magnified after Indiana Pacers star Malcolm Brogdon agreed to a contract extension on the eve of the season starting. Said deal adds two more years and $45 million in cold-hard cash to his current contract. It also stipulates that Indiana can’t trade Brogdon at any point during the 2021-22 season.

This is akin to Indiana taking its name out of the Simmons sweepstakes after being linked to the embattled point guard over the past several weeks. If any deal were to come to fruition on this end, Brogdon would have to be part of the package heading back to Philadelphia.

Related: Updated NBA trade rumors heading into the season

Ben Simmons trade market diminishing big time

Ben simmons trade
Jun 20, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons warms up before game seven of the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Over the course of the summer, multiple teams were linked to the struggling point guard at some point. The Minnesota Timberwolves have been the latest team bandied about. But it appears that this reshuffled organization is more than fine heading into the season with the core three of D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns.

Linked to Simmons more than any other team, the Golden State Warriors are no longer in on him. Owner Joe Lacob was recently fined for tampering with Simmons. However, that had more to do with Lacob indicating that he’s not a fit with Draymond Green in San Francisco.

Related: Ideal Ben Simmons trade scenarios

Sure teams such as the Sacramento Kings, Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors might still be able to get involved. But we’re not seeing much traction on that end, either.

What does this mean for Ben Simmons and his team?

With Philadelphia set to open up its regular season Wednesday against the New Orleans Pelicans, there’s no word yet on what the team’s brass plans to do with Simmons. He was seen taking part in practice on Monday, which could be an indication that there’s plans to play him.

Even then, reports from Simmons’ camp indicating that he wants out coupled with the belief that the former No. 1 pick isn’t a great fit with Joel Embiid seems to indicate something could be afoot.

Remember, Simmons was fined north of $1 million for sitting out training camp ahead of reporting earlier in October. That was likely his primary motivation for showing up. Once Simmons did report, indications were that Philadelphia was still looking to find a trade partner.

Simmons, 25, averaged 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists on 56% shooting from the field a season ago. These represented the worst numbers of his career. He also averaged a mere 11.9 points while shooting 34% from the free-throw line during a brutal playoff performance.

Short of the guard picking things up, Philadelphia will have to lower its asking price in order to pull off a trade. With Indiana now seemingly out of the mix, that’s magnified further.