The Philadelphia 76ers are fighting for their lives and Ben Simmons trade rumors won’t go away. Often mentioned as a piece in every blockbuster trade package each offseason, the 76ers might have missed their window.
Weeks into the 2020-’21 NBA season, Simmons was at the forefront of James Harden trade discussions. It wasn’t the first time his name was floated in NBA trade rumors either. But the 76ers clung to their All-Star point guard, confident his pairing with Joel Embiid would work.
While Philadelphia forced a Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks, Simmons has been a significant problem. He is averaging just 10.7 points per game in the Eastern Conference semifinals, failing to crack double-digit points three times.
Speaking on his podcast, NBA insider Zach Lowe delivered some news from around the league that many fans don’t want to hear.
“I have news for Philly fans, the GMs of the other teams watch the playoffs very very closely. And there are definitely teams that I have talked to in the last 48 hours who were once in on Simmons, who say, at least to me, it could be posturing, “eh, we’re a little less in than we used to be.'”ESPN’s Zach Lowe on declining Ben Simmons trade value
It’s impossible not to notice how poorly Simmons is performing, especially when the spotlight is on him. The 6-foot-11 guard has been sent to the free-throw line 43 times in six games against the Hawks. He is making 29.8% of his attempts, including a 4-of-14 performance in a nightmare Game 5.
The frustration in Philadelphia is evident and it could reach a tipping point if this team fails to even reach the NBA Finals.
Will the 76ers make a Ben Simmons trade this offseason?
Philadelphia would love to trade Simmons for a star guard who better complements this team and can step up as a scorer. But they turned down an opportunity to land Harden and barring a sudden change, Bradley Beal is sticking with the Washington Wizards.
- Ben Simmons contract: $30.559 million this season, owed $146.7 million over next four years
It’s also important to consider the financial aspect of a trade, with Simmons months away from entering just his second year of a max extension.
There’s no denying he has trade value. NBA teams want a versatile guard who made the NBA’s All-Defensive First-Team the past two seasons and is a quality floor general. But the former No. 1 overall pick has also shown zero development with his outside shot and his free-throw issues are alarming.
Ultimately, the 76ers seem destined for another playoff exit and plenty of the blame must fall on their All-Star guard. Another disappointing season might snap the final straw, leading to a Ben Simmons trade this summer.