The situation involving Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers took another turn this past week. Simmons informed the 76ers that he would not attend training camp, and intended to never play another game for the 76ers again. He effectively demanded a trade from the 76ers.
Even before Simmons’ formalized his desire to leave, the 76ers were shopping Simmons around to any and every NBA team that would listen. But they weren’t able to concretize a deal, primarily because of how big an asking price they set for Simmons.
The 76ers made it very clear to negotiating teams that they wanted an All-Star caliber player in return for Simmons. One can assume this is so they don’t do any damage to their championship window and give cause to Joel Embiid to leave the franchise.
Considering Simmons’ poor performance in the NBA playoffs, his trade value isn’t warranting another All-Star. Furthermore, most teams are unwilling to trade their best player for someone who has a reputation of underperforming during high-pressure situations.
Simmons’ will be hoping to have his future sorted before the new NBA season kicks off. But regardless of when he will get his move, he will not be lacing up and taking to the court for the 76ers going forward. And it appears that his move away from Philly could take place very soon.
According to reports, the 76ers front office has had several conversations about a Simmons trade, and the feeling within the league is that the trade could happen within the next week. The report also stated that the Denver Nuggets are actually a sleeper contender to land Simmons when any trade does take place.
If the Nuggets can add Simmons while not losing Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic, and Michael Porter Jr., then they will have a solid contender in the West. Simmons will bring a more aggressive approach to defense, and make up for the defensive weakness of a player like Murray.
Given the 76ers’ lofty demands, it appears unlikely that the Nuggets could add Simmons and retain their 3 centerpieces. Michael Porter Jr. will be the most appealing player for the 76ers, and they may also ask for Jamal Murray in return, as Simmons would leave a gap at the point guard position that Murray can fill.