The Ben Simmons saga has been dragging on all off-season but a statement from the 76ers GM shows that this could just be the beginning.
The Ben Simmons saga feels like it’s been going forever already but fans might have to strap themselves in for a lot more pain.
Simmons’ attempt to force the Philadelphia 76ers in a trade and turned the Aussie three-time All Star in the NBA’s greatest villain but his boss remains unmoved.
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The 25-year-old is making moves off the court, having listed his 3000 square foot home at the Ritz-Carlton for sale for $A4.3 million a fortnight ago and has now listed his south Jersey mansion for $A6.7 million.
It’s clear Simmons wants out no matter what.
Despite turning up for training, he has already been kicked out of training for refusing to do a drill, acted disinterested and even skipped a planned individual workout on Thursday due to tightness in his back. ESPN reported he had been cleared of injury by the team doctors.
Simmons is expected to meet with team bosses on Friday US time regarding his playing status but The Athletic reported he is “not expected to play for an undetermined period of time”.
But none of Simmons’ moves appear to have moved the needle on a possible trade, as it appears he’s trying to tank his trade value.
Sixers bosses have long stood by the mantra that they will only get like for like for Simmons, which means an All-Star player as Philadelphia’s president of basketball operations Daryl Morey refuses to blink first.
Speaking to 97.5 The Fanatic, Morey said that the side will hold out until Simmons plays or they get a “difference-maker” in return — however long that might take.
You’re going to think I’m kidding, I’m not, this could be four years,” Morey said. “The conditions I’m pointing out to you don’t change. Unless Ben Simmons is traded for a difference-maker, we’re in the prime of Joel (Embiid)’s career. We have to get back either Ben Simmons playing well for us, who helps us win the championship, or we have to get back a difference-maker for Ben Simmons. Or this could be four years from now, and we’re still like, ‘Hey, we took the best shot at it we could.’
“This could be four years. This is not day-to-day. Every day, we’re going to expect Ben Simmons to be back here, or we’re trading him for a difference-maker. There’s no other outcome that doesn’t materially hurt our chance to win the championship in Joel Embiid’s prime.
“We would want him to play and be back starting tomorrow. But if he chooses to take some other path, that’s his choice.”
Simmons is in his second year of a five-year $US168 million ($A225 million) contract.
Morey has thrown out some wild trade requests in recent times as well.
The Portland Trail Blazers have long been linked with a trade for Simmons but the likes of Damian Lillard could be a bridge too far.
The Sixers even targeted another player in CJ McCollum, but demanded three first-round picks and three pick swaps as well, a deal that Portland refused.
The Golden State Warriors also refused to deal for Simmons when Morey reportedly wanted James Wiseman, Andrew Wiggins, the No. 7 and No. 14 overall picks and two future first-round picks for Simmons.