Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers failed to find a solution despite several attempts. While many accused the All-Star guard of trying to force a move, sports analyst Stephen A. Smith came out to say Sixers president Daryl Morey mishandled the situation.
On NBA Countdown, the cast discussed Simmons’ situation, with Michael Wilbon believing the Sixers have the clout in this situation, while Jalen Green believes Simmons has the upper hand. When Stephen A. was asked if he expected Simmons to be traded before the deadline, he replied:
“Now obviously we’re looking at Ben Simmons, and there’s two streams of thought here. There’s people looking at him and saying, ‘Okay, mental health issues are a very, very serious thing,’ and if he says that’s what happened and it’s not about the Sixers, it’s about any team and everything you have, then you take him at his word.”
Stephen A. Smith then presented the other side of the situation surrounding Simmons. Smith suggested there are a fair number of people who believe the player, his agent and his side are “outright lying”.
But there’s a plethora of people out there who don’t believe a damn word that comes out of his camp. Whether it’s him, Rich Paul or anyone else. We think they’re outright lying.”
Smith then closed his remarks by pointing out that Philadelphia 76ers president Darly Morey is the one who seems to have been left with the short end of the stick. Morey’s handling of the Simmons saga hasn’t gone to plan and it quickly seems like Ben Simmons has gotten the better of him.
“The reality of the situation is that he hasn’t done anything to lead the Philadelphia 76ers right now, especially when it comes to Ben Simmons. I love Daryl Morey, and if I was ahead of him, I would say to his face, did nothing. The reality is that the man told you over the summer that he wanted out, and you called his bluff. Well, it turns out he wasn’t bluffing.
For many, including Jay Williams, Simmons’ time with the Sixers is over as they don’t see a scenario where he would return to the franchise roster. However, Morey made it clear that he was in no rush to ship it if the trade was unfavorable.
Ben Simmons could be traded at the February 10 trade deadline
Simmons hasn’t played at all since the start of the 2021-22 season. He had a fallout with the organization after they fell out of the 2021 playoffs in the Eastern Conference semifinals and decided not to play for the team.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, the Sixers are considering trading Simmons for Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox. It’s been reported that no one on the list is untouchable, meaning there’s a chance a deal could be done.
The LA Lakers and New York Knicks, among other teams, have expressed interest in acquiring the Australian’s services. While the Lakers lack tradable assets, the Knicks could get by.
Last season, Simmons averaged 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists while shooting 55.7 percent from the field. He also finished second in voting for the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year.
Read alsoThe article continues below
His stats from last year all point to Simmons being an All-Star level player and a serious long-term asset to any franchise. However, all the bureaucracy surrounding a potential deal means teams could be discouraged from engaging in meaningful trade negotiations.