Since being eliminated in the 2021 playoffs, the Philadelphia 76ers have been split from their star, Ben Simmons.
At this point, his antics aren't news to anybody and it's well known that the guy has given up over $10 million in his determination to never play a game for the franchise again.
So far no Simmons trades have really picked up steam, but with the trade deadline around the corner, there is renewed hope that a deal might be reached pretty soon.
Instead, NBA insider Marc Stein provided a different update on the situation, confirming that the first plan for Philly is to actually (somehow) convince him to stick around.
The 76ers will be discussing various Simmons trade scenarios for the next month, but actually trading him before the NBA’s annual trade buzzer is not their preferred scenario. As it stands. Convincing Simmons to rejoin the team and play as much of the remaining schedule as possible, according to one source familiar with Philadelphia’s thinking, is the club’s “goal No. 1” when it comes to the wayward playmaker.
At this point, the Sixers would need a miracle to see Ben return to the lineup. After a summer of demands, a war raged out between two sides that involved fines, a mention of mental health issues, and complete alienation from each other.
At one point, Ben did return to the Sixers for a few practices, but he ultimately checked out before playing a single game.
Nobody knows what comes next in this saga, but league sources still seem convinced that Ben will be moved by the deadline.
Despite the Sixers’ bluster to the contrary, the consensus opinion around the league remains that Philadelphia is more likely to act at the trade deadline than carry this all the way through ’til next summer, so as to avoid punting on a year of Joel Embiid’s prime. The counterargument is that the Sixers, as presently constituted, have been unimpressive enough that it might not hurt much to wait.
For now, all we can do is watch and wait to see who caves first.
Will Simmons look at his situation and change his mind, or will the Sixers finally throw up their hands and find a suitable trade for the guy?
We'll find out soon enough, but let's just hope Joel Embiid isn't left out there alone for too long. He's in the prime of his career and in desperate need of some help.