The Ben Simmons saga has been the story of the NBA for weeks now. After yet another embarrassing playoff performance, the Sixers are under more pressure than ever before to blow up their core.
Considering it is Simmons' offensive struggles that have hurt the team the most so far, it is his name that has surfaced in trade talks around the association.
Naturally, Simmons himself is done trying to make things work and has already told the team he'd rather be sent somewhere else.
As the days roll on, and the new season draws closer, the anticipation of a potential trade only has only gotten stronger. And in a recent chat with Complex, basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal explained why:
Q: Is there anyway Ben Simmons can open the season with the Sixers?
I say no. He hasn’t had a lot of communication with them this summer. He hasn’t gotten any better over the last four years. If you don’t have communication with upstairs it’s not going to go well. Philly fans gave up on him, or are starting to give up on him. It’ll probably be good for him to go somewhere else. But I follow him and he’s been shooting that jumper on his page. So if he does comeback his jumper better be Steph Curry’s.
Shaq mentioned Simmons shooting jumpers on his page, which seems like an encouraging sign for Sixers fans. Unfortunately, the young star posts those types of videos almost every single summer, and it hasn't resulted in a better performance during the season.
At this point, a fresh start with a new team might be the only way for Simmons to resurrect his career.
"He needs a new start, a fresh start," said Magic Johnson. "So it's time to trade him. It will be good for the Sixers as well as good for Ben. And his confidence. He needs to get with a veteran so that they can probably bring that confidence back. Make him understand that if you're aggressive, it makes the team better."
It remains to be seen what the future has in store for the young guard. He brings a lot to the table and has plenty of talent. Given some faith and the chance to grow on his own terms, he could become the star we've all been waiting for.