Several weeks into the season, and the standoff in Philadelphia continues to rage on.
As Ben Simmons does everything he can to avoid playing for the Sixers, Daryl Morey refuses to budge on his ludicrous trade demands.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that the Sixers and Pistons were engaged in talks surrounding 27-year-old Jerami Grant, leading many to believe the Simmons saga might finally see its end.
The team has engaged in ongoing discussions with the Detroit Pistons to acquire Grant, another forward, a young player, and a draft pick in exchange for Simmons, league sources said. One source said power forward/center Kelly Olynyk and second-year swingman Saddiq Bey were mentioned as players who could be included in a possible deal.
Multiple sources said the Sixers have spoken to Pistons, and that the discussions were centered around Grant. The Athletic reported Thursday the Sixers have a list of 30 players they’d accept in a Simmons trade.
Of course, the story doesn't end there. Unsurprisingly, the Sixers have bigger ambitions than Jerami Grant, and a new report suggests they would only entertain trade talks with Detroit if they included their young star, and this year's no. 1 overall pick, Cade Cunningham.
The latest entry into the rumor mill was a report this week from the Inquirer regarding "ongoing discussions" with the Detroit Pistons, where the Sixers were said to be interested in former Philly draftee Jerami Grant. Grant, in the second year of a three-year, $60 million contract, is averaging 18.1 points per game on 40.1/30.8/80.8 shooting splits, with his numbers down across the board following a productive first year in Detroit.
According to sources, those discussions were not just old and presently inactive, they were of little interest to the Sixers. The team's list of players they'd be interested in acquiring for Simmons, recently referred to by Sam Amick in a report for The Athletic, does not include Grant, a source familiar with the situation tells PhillyVoice.
Sources say there's not much of a discussion to be had unless the Pistons unexpectedly decided to throw Cade Cunningham, this year's No. 1 overall pick, into the mix. Even then, the timeline Cunningham is on relative to Joel Embiid would make that a tough proposition for Philly to say yes to.
Cade, 20, has shown a lot of promise over his short tenure in the league so far. If he continues to grow and develop his game, he could become the star Detroit has been looking for.
To give him up for a guy like Ben Simmons (who comes with a whole lot of questions) is a big ask, and it seems unlikely that the Pistons will make that decision.
So, where does that put Simmons and Philly? At stage one, where they've been since this whole thing started. And unless Daryl Morey lowers his ask, this whole situation could go on for much, much longer than anyone imagined.