The Philadelphia 76ers have again fallen well short of contending for an NBA title. The 76ers shortcomings have quickly moved the focus to star point guard Ben Simmons after the worst stretch of his brief NBA career. All those factors have quickly placed the front office in a tough spot regarding Simmons’ future.
Ben Simmons criticized after the 76ers’ disappointing playoff exit
After a promising regular season capped by capturing the Eastern Conference’s top playoff seed, the 76ers fell to a discouraging playoff departure.
Philadelphia’s exit quickly led to blame tossed toward Simmons, who struggled mightily to contribute as a scorer. His issues became prevalent in the fourth quarter in the second-round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks. He took only three total shots scoring 12 points in the seven games, including five contests without a single field goal attempt.
Simmons’ offensive problems place doubt regarding his future in Philadelphia. It also puts the front office in a tough bind moving forward.
Ben Simmons may have created a huge headache for the 76ers
As the 76ers enter another offseason after a disappointing playoff exit, the focus quickly shifts toward Simmons’ future.
The front office previously reneged on that discussion last offseason, electing to keep the team’s two stars together at least through another year. With the 76ers falling short again, general manager Daryl Morey may have a problem on his hands if he engaged in any trade talks for the star point guard.
During a recent SportsCenter segment, ESPN‘s Brian Windhorst laid out that it may be the “quality of the offers” that puts the franchise in a tough spot.
“The challenge is going to be even if he decided to come to that is what are they going to be able to get for him if [Simmon is] coming off the worst situation of his career. ,” Windhorst said. “In talking to executive around the league, there is a lot of interest in Ben Simmons. If he was made available in the market, there would be up to at least a dozen teams would make offers.
“But it’s the quality of those offers that he’s going to have to worry about. He’s going to have to be very careful with his behind-the-scenes movement and his public statements to not show that hand and potentially give away what his position is going to be.”
Simmons’ playoff shortcomings aside, he’s a highly talented player that is an elite game-changer behind his passing and defense. Those two factors alone would draw plenty of interest from around the league, while other teams could see his shooting as an area of improvement.
The question then becomes what kind of offers the 76ers fetch that would make it reasonable to trade Simmons. Time will tell whether any team will make a strong push to acquire him.
Philadelphia will give him one more shot
The 76ers hold every reason to explore Simmons‘ trade market to see what the team can acquire.
However, ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday the franchise remains committed to working through the 24-year-old’s shooting issues, including his free throws. Head coach Doc Rivers and Simmons also recently discussed the game plan moving forward together.
The latest development gives off the vibe the 76ers will give the All-Star one last chance to improve his shooting. Keep in mind, Simmons is heading into the second year of his five-year, $177.2 million deal that runs through the 2024-25 season.
Philadelphia has him under contract for four more years, making it the expected choice to give it another go-around. If Simmons doesn’t demonstrate marked improvement as a shooter, his time with the 76ers will reach an end.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.