Are the 76ers Finally Ready to Sell Simmons?

Updated: August 5, 2021

Daryl Morey, Philadelphia 76ers’ president of operations, has been adamant these last two weeks on wasting others’ time with posturing and unrealistic offers. For a man who too often is referred to as a genius, GM driven by the modern NBA’s analytics, his interpersonal skills when it comes to negotiations are about as transparent as freshly polished windows. After asking for 4 picks and 3 swaps plus young talent from San Antonio, then requesting Lowry, VanVleet, OG, AND the 4th pick in the draft from Toronto, Morey then asked the Warriors for Wiggins, there 2 lottery picks, Wisemen, and an additional 2 future firsts. What the league came to was that it appears Philly doesn’t actually want to move off Ben Simmons, because these offers made would have been stretches of the imagination even before the Simmons’ implosion in the playoffs.

However, August 5th is a very different time of year than it was only 10 days ago at the end of July when so many possibilities were still floating through the NBA atmosphere. The majority of cap space has dried up, and the ink is still wet on countless new contracts across the league. Many teams who had dreamt of building their roster around Ben Simmons have already taken alternative routes, and with how specific his skillset is, it’s likely they see that option as something in the rearview mirror. With the latest reports of Simmons excommunicating himself from the Philly front office, only communicating through his agent Jason Dumas, desperation for his departure is now a known fact around the league. With all that said, the reports have also indicated that talks between Philadelphia and Golden State have reopened, but this time, hopefully with the intentions of formulating plausible deals, instead of the previous posturing tactics.

The talks have been around sending Wiggins and some sort of draft package around his contract to the 76ers for Simmons while excluding Wisemen from the deal. The concerns though are giving up their scoring wing for a non-shooter and pairing him in the frontcourt with Draymond Green, two players whose strengths and weaknesses so heavily overlap. However, with the recent vet-minimum signing of Otto Porter Jr., the Warriors could talk themselves into buying low on Simmons regardless of the fit on the offensive end. When Klay returns the lineup, even if only 85% of himself, Thompson, Simmons, and Draymond, might be the triangle of the best defense in the NBA.

There also are two players whose fates may be roped into this Simmons fiasco, and that being problem children in Kelly Oubre Jr. and Buddy Hield. Two players whose on-court attributes should have gotten them max rookie extension and yet something about their personalities has simply stopped that from happening. Oubre was expecting multiple 80 million deals this offseason which never manifested, and Hield, despite being a historic 3-point shooter doesn’t seem to be a hot commodity on the trade market even on a favorable contract. The Warriors could send Oubre in a sign and trade to Sacramento, sending the sniper to Philadelphia with picks and/or Wisemen, in return for big Ben. Such a move though would put the Warriors at an even more absurd luxury tax bill but would retain the plus defender and scorer in Andrew Wiggins.

The details at this time are unclear. The one thing though that is known, is that Philly is finally ready to deal. Simmons and his camp’s decision to cut direct communication is an obvious power move to apply pressure to make a deal prior to training camp, and the longer this ordeal gets stretched out, the more unfavorable it gets for Morey and the Sixers.

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