To Trade Ben Simmons or Not to Trade? When Is the Question

Ben Simmons
NEW ORLEANS, LA – APR 09: Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) dribbles against New Orleans Pelicans in the first half during a NBA game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Philadelphia 76ers at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA on Apr 09, 2021. (Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire)

The Sixers and Ben Simmons are likely heading for a split. When it comes to the matter of to trade or not to trade, when is the question.

The 76ers Organization named Daryl Morey, President of Basketball Operations, on November 2, 2020. Soon after being hired, Morey wasted no time reconstructing this sixers roster, making some impactful moves that would lead to winning in the upcoming season.

Acquiring Seth Curry from the Dallas Mavericks for Josh Richardson and the 36th overall pick in the 2020 draft gave the sixers the shooter they needed. Then, no bigger move came after Morey was able to unload Al Horford and his massive contract of $109million and two picks, shipping him away to the OKC thunder for Danny Green in return.

In doing that, Morey constructed a team for the 2020-2021 NBA season that had a 49-23 record with the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. Producing two All-Stars in Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, the MVP runner up and All NBA second team Joel Embiid and three All-Defensive Teams players in Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Matisse Thybulle.

The Sixers achieved one of their goals of making the playoffs as the number one seed in the eastern conference but fell short of their ultimate goal of winning an NBA championship.

The NBA playoffs are when the lights shine the brightest, which can either expose a player’s greatness or their biggest flaws. The past NBA playoffs did nothing positive for the star Sixers guard Ben Simmons. Pushing Daryl Morey and Sixers brass into a major decision this offseason will affect the team for years to come. For Morey, it’s to trade or not to trade Simmons, and if traded, when?

Through the Eyes of Daryl Morey

Daryl Morey is more than willing to trade Ben Simmons this offseason after seeing whats transpired during these 2021 playoffs.

Ben Simmons was essentially a non-factor offensively in the playoffs, especially during the second round against the Hawks late down the stretch in games.

At times, the Hawks were insistent on defending Ben Simmons with players like Danilo Gallinari, a match-up Simmons should easily take advantage of and exploit; however, Simmons never asserted himself and exploited those matchups, consequently handicapped his team offensively.

After winning game five and forcing a home game seven against the Hawks, Simmons capped off his pour-forth quarter play with zero attempts and capped it off with a play we all would like to forget. Sixers down two points with a chance to tie the game up with 3:34 minutes left in the game, Simmons had an open dunk with the only defender in his way is a six-foot-tall Trae Young, Simmons passes up the dunk to Matisse Thybulle, who was fouled and made one of two free throws, and the Sixers go on to lose series. 

This play essentially sealed Ben Simmons’ fate with the city and fans.

Ben Simmons

In August, the 76ers brass flew to LA to meet with Ben Simmons to discuss a return to the team and repair anything remaining from an already strained relationship between player and organization. During this meeting, it was reported that Simmons has no desire to return to the Sixers.

Reports say Simmons’ camp contributed his decision to Morey, initially saying he is not going to trade Ben Simmons, then at the trade deadline of the 2020 season, Morey tried to trade Ben for James Harden, who was eventually traded to the Brooklyn Nets. Head Coach Doc Rivers also contributed to the split. After losing in the second round, Doc Rivers was asked if “Ben could be the point guard on a championship team” Doc Rivers replied, “I don’t know that right now.”

Simmons camp apparently believes that those comments from Morey and Doc Rivers were the tipping point for him. The Sixers organization did not reprimand Coach Rivers and make him apologize for what he said after the game seven lost, and Ben Simmons took that personally.

Simmons has now threatened to not show up for training camp, which starts September 28, 2021, and is prepared to sit out and pay the fines if not traded before the start of camp.

Decisions Decisions

Contrary to popular belief, the task of trading Ben Simmons is not an easy one, But what fans witnessed from Simmons on the court during the playoffs, Ben and agent Rich Paul requesting a trade has forced the Sixers and Daryl Morey into a compromised position.

Daryl Morey wants to trade Simmons for a star in return or what he believes to be fair market price, possibly taking until the in-season trade deadline and a star-shaking loss. Morey is now tasked with finding a trade partner for Simmons while also getting a return that best fits and benefits the Sixers organization.

Ben Simmons feels like he was backstabbed and wants to be traded before training camp starts and has threatened not to show up for camp if not traded.

When it comes to Ben Simmons and the matter of to trade or not to trade, when is the question.