While a Ben Simmons trade isn’t close, one seems likely at this point.
When it was reported that Ben Simmons would be reporting to the Philadelphia 76ers, many assumed it was the start of what could end up being a reconciliation between the two sides. However, that should not be the expectation.
Instead, this move should be taken in with a grain of salt. For anyone hoping for Simmons’ long-term future to be in Philadelphia, that’s fool’s gold at this point.
Simmons may be in Philly. He will likely practice with the team as soon as he clears health and safety protocol and he may even play in games for the team, but a trade of the superstar still seems likely.
There was no other logistical move that Simmons or the Sixers could’ve made. They’re clearly not happy with the trade offers that have come in for Simmons and it made no sense for Simmons to continue to lose money with no trade on the horizon.
It was time for Simmons to play nice, even if he’s putting on a brave face, and take a step to help the Sixers in their pursuit of a deal.
After all, how could you expect teams to be all-out pursuing a deal for a superstar whose effort was being questioned in a playoff game the last time we saw him play. Simmons can quiet some of that noise by playing in a few games this season, reminding teams just how talented he is.
At the same rate, the Sixers would benefit from that as well – even if it is just a band-aid remedy. Philly is saying all the right things and is hoping to salvage a relationship between Simmons and the franchise, but there’s no question they know the business.
This is not the first song and dance for Daryl Morey or Doc Rivers. They know Simmons had to be welcomed back for them to have any shot at rebuilding his trade value. And that’s exactly what we’re seeing by this move.
This is not the start of a happy ending between Simmons and the Sixers. This is just the odd intermission that is what is going to lead to an interesting final act in this odd era of Philadelphia 76ers basketball.