Back in 2016, LSU star Ben Simmons was drawing comparisons to guys like Magic Johnson and LeBron James.
So when the Philadelphia 76ers lucked out and picked him up with the first overall pick, the NBA world had high expectations.
Five years later, with absolutely nothing to show for the Simmons era so far, the Sixers are facing a rather difficult dilemma.
Ben's shooting struggles reached an All-Time low in the 2021 playoffs and it got so bad, he was outright turning down shot opportunities under the rim.
Predictably, the Sixers got bounced early again and, with no signs that things would change, calls for the team to trade Mr. Simmons continued to grow louder and louder.
So far, they have resisted trading Ben, presumably so they could wait and accept an offer they deem worthwhile. Unfortunately for them, the decision may soon be out of their hands.
"Ben Simmons is not answering the phone calls," said ESPN's Kendrick Perkins. "He don’t want to be with the 76ers, and from what I heard, he’s willing not to report to training camp, and will go as long as it takes for him to get out of Philly."
Simmons has yet to make a public statement about his future in Philly, but it's looking increasingly likely that he's played his last game with the Sixers.
In fact, last week, it was reported that Simmons had even cut off all communication with his co-star, Joel Embiid.
Joel Embiid has reached out to him several times since the end of the season. He hasn't returned Joel Embiid's calls ... he doesn't want to return to the 76ers. Damage has been done.
So, it's clear that Ben Simmons wants a move.
The problem for the Sixers is that they've essentially lost all leverage. While Ben is still under contract, the reports about his displeasure with the team could force Philly's hand, especially if Ben starts skipping out on team activities.
That, combined with his poor performance in the playoffs, has made the whole situation quite tragic for the organization.
Whatever the case, it's an inevitability that the 25-year-old Sixer from Australia will soon be donning a new jersey.