The Ben Simmons era in Philadelphia could be coming to an end soon. After the 2017-18 Rookie of the Year played dreadfully in the 2021 playoffs, the Philadelphia 76ers are widely expected to trade him before the start of the 2021-22 season.
Following the Sixers’ loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the 2021 Eastern Conference semifinals, Simmons said he understood why the fans booed him and reiterated his desire to stay with the team. However, the point forward could be doing things behind the scenes to get traded by the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2016.
Sixers reportedly haven’t been able to get in touch with Ben Simmons
According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Sixers haven’t been able to get in touch with Simmons since the 2021 playoffs ended. The All-Star was photographed in England watching Wimbledon with his girlfriend and chose not to play in the Tokyo Olympics so he could work on his game.
However, it appears the Sixers haven’t been able to align a development plan with Simmons, which has been the case for the past few years.
“I’m not gonna write this in the story, but I’ll tell this to you guys, and you guys can do what you want with it,” Fischer told The Gastroenteritis Blues podcast, via Liberty Ballers. “They haven’t been able to really even get in touch with Ben since the season ended. Like, there was an intent to have a workout plan or whatever — like in any offseason. That’s always kind of been the case, that the Sixers haven’t been able to align with a development plan [for Ben] — that’s kind of what Yaron Weitzman wrote at Fox Sports in that big story. It just doesn’t sound like there’s ever been movement to come together on the same page to do that, and it hasn’t really worked this summer either. I think that’s not something that’s an encouraging sign for him being in Philadelphia in the future.”
The Sixers have been gauging the trade market for Simmons since the Hawks eliminated them, and it appears the franchise is finally ready to part ways with the mercurial lefty.
Ben Simmons trade believed to be inevitable
According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, a Simmons trade is considered “inevitable,” but the move could drag out until the preseason. The Sixers are asking for a package that includes an All-Star player in return for Simmons, who is one of the best passers and defenders in the NBA but can’t shoot the ball.
In the Sixers’ second-round playoff loss to the Hawks, Simmons shot a woeful 33.3% from the free-throw line. The 25-year-old played 34 minutes in the fourth quarter of Games 4-7 and had zero field-goal attempts, and he finished the series with averages of 9.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 8.6 assists.
During the Sixers’ Game 7 loss at home, Simmons angered the entire crowd at the Wells Fargo Center by passing up a dunk attempt in the fourth quarter. Instead of dunking the ball, Simmons passed to Matisse Thybulle, who was fouled and went only 1-of-2 from the free-throw line.
After that sequence, the Hawks went on a 5-0 run to go ahead 93-87 with 2:31 left in regulation. They wound up winning 103-96, and several Sixers fans posted videos on social media of them burning their Simmons jerseys.
Simmons has four years and $147 million left on his current deal. Even though he has no jumper and his commitment to improving his game has been questioned, several teams are reportedly interested in trading for the LSU product.
A number of teams have interest in the All-NBA defender
Simmons is an elite passer and defender and a terror in the open court with the ball in his hands. For those reasons, a number of teams probably believe they can win with him.
According to veteran NBA scribe Marc Stein, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings, and Toronto Raptors have expressed interest in trading for Simmons. Other teams could join trade talks as well, especially since it seems like a divorce between Simmons and the Sixers is imminent.
Since making his NBA debut in 2017, Simmons has compiled respectable averages of 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 7.7 assists. However, he’s only made five 3-pointers and is a career 59.7% shooter from the charity stripe.
The time has come for Simmons and the Sixers to part ways. There’s too much baggage, and Simmons has proved to be a poor fit next to Joel Embiid since the superstar center has no room to operate in the post due to Simmons’ lack of a jumper.
It sounds like the Sixers are ready to move on from their point guard, and Simmons may be feeling the same way.