At some point, it has to become clear to the Philadelphia 76ers that Ben Simmons will not suit up with the team again.
The three-time All-Star point guard is a holdout from the early stages of training camp and has made it clear he wants to be traded. He’s refused to meet with 76ers players in the lead up to the 2021-22 season and doesn’t view himself as a fit with franchise cornerstone.
A recent report from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne also suggests that Ben Simmons could very well opt to sit out the entire season should Philadelphia not trade him.
“When you talk to people close to Ben, I say, ‘Okay, worst-case scenario it takes all year,” the NBA insider reported recently. “Would he sit all year?’ And the answer right now is: ‘Yes.’”
Philadelphia’s previous asking price in Simmons trade talks with others teams was otherworldly. That included demanding four first-round picks, Andrew Wiggins and James Wiseman from the Golden State Warriors. The Sixers are asked for four first-round picks and two young players from the San Antonio Spurs. Both teams denied said demands in a blink of an eye.
Related: Ideal Ben Simmons trade scenarios
Now that this situation seems to be coming to a head, it’s time for the 76ers and front office head Daryl Morey to sell low on a Simmons trade. Here’s why.
Franchise continuity with the Philadelphia 76ers
Last season saw Philadelphia finish with the best record in the Eastern Conference before a premature exit in the NBA Playoffs. In the months since, the 76ers have attempted to paint a clearer picture of their future. That included handing Embiid a max contract extension.
Envision the 2021-22 season playing out with Ben Simmons technically remaining a member of the 76ers and creating even more drama behind the scenes. Reports from his camp continuing to call out the organization. In turn, head coach Doc Rivers remaining combative with an equally combative press group in Philadelphia. This drama could derail the 76ers’ season even more than a potential below-market return for Simmons.
Philadelphia 76ers could still net something solid for Ben Simmons
Unlike recent reports surrounding another Eastern Conference star, there’s still some solid trade value when it comes to moving Ben Simmons.
We’re talking a dude who is only 25 years old, has earned three All-Star appearances and is a reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year finalist. Those types of players don’t come down the pike on the trade block too often.
Philly will have to continue to lower its asking price in a potential Simmons trade. That is known. But acquiring a combination of D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and a first-round pick or two from the Minnesota Timberwolves would be a nice bounty. Andrew Wiggins, one of the Warriors’ lottery picks and a future first-round pick might work too. Either way, there’s still some value in moving Simmons.
The Ben Simmons fit has always been questionable
People will clown on Simmons for saying he’s not a great fit with Embiid. However, there’s an argument that can be made for this.
A truly dominating center in the low-post, Embiid also has some solid range outside. With that said, he’s not going to be mistaken for a long-range shooter. Having a point guard that can’t consistently connect from beyond the paint is not an ideal scenario for Philadelphia moving forward. We saw this first-hand during the team’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Wouldn’t a pairing of Beasley and Russell be a better fit than Simmons?