Ben Simmons Just Moved a Step Closer to Leaving the 76ers

In the aftermath of the Philadelphia 76ers‘ disappointing playoff exit, Ben Simmons has become the scapegoat for the franchise’s shortcomings. Simmons’ time with the 76ers has also been put into question. It has now guided the star point guard a step closer to his departure from Philadelphia.

Ben Simmons’ future with the 76ers remains uncertain

After capturing the Eastern Conference’s top playoff seed, the 76ers entered the 2021 postseason with high aspirations.

However, Philadelphia’s championship hopes went down the drain after falling in seven games to the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The bulk of the blame shifted quickly to Simmons’ offensive struggles as he disappeared as the series.

Simmons struggled in the fourth quarter, taking only three total shots and scoring 12 points in the seven games. That included five contests without a single field-goal attempt. His shortcomings moved the conversation toward the 76ers considering moving him this upcoming offseason.

Philadelphia has now made a significant decision regarding the star point guard’s future.

Ben Simmons just moved a step closer to leaving the 76ers

Since the 76ers’ disappointing second-round playoff exit, the team has kept its future plans close to the vest.

Philadelphia initially aired a strong desire to retain Simmons, at least through this upcoming season. However, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported the 76ers are open to trade talks for the star point guard with a steep price tag.

“The 76ers have opened up trade conversations surrounding Simmons and have engaged with teams, sources told The Athletic,” Charania wrote. “Those sources also say that teams that have engaged with the 76ers about Simmons have been met with a high price threshold for the three-time All-Star.”

Simmons may hold glaring holes in his offensive game, but he remains among the league’s top young talents. He’s become a top-tier defender while gaining recognition as an elite passer. The three-time All-Star isn’t a reliable offensive factor, but he certainly fills the gaps with the rest of his skillset.

Marc Stein of The New York Times also reported that several teams have already expressed interest, such as the Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, and Sacramento Kings. Several more organizations will join the conversation as the offseason draws closer.

The 76ers anticipated receiving significant interest in Simmons, but the remaining questions concern the quality of the offers. If general manager Daryl Morey explores the trade market, he’ll be aiming to receive a star talent in exchange to pair alongside Joel Embiid.

Ultimately, the 76ers will soon learn if Simmons can fetch a feasible offer to make a trade worthwhile.

Philadelphia will dictate what unfolds ahead

Simmons’ future in Philadephia remains entirely in the organization’s hands.

He’s entering the second year of his five-year, $177.2 million deal. His contract runs through the 2024-25 season without any player or team options.

The 24-year-old has become a centerpiece to the franchise’s core alongside Embiid. Any decision to move him would create a seismic shift regarding the construction of the roster. His recent playoff shortcomings aside, he’s played a pivotal part in transforming the 76ers into a postseason constant.

Meanwhile, the 76ers must determine if Simmons can lift the team into serious championship contention. He may have youth on his side, but Philadelphia has reached the point at which playoff shortcomings are no longer acceptable.

In other words, if the 76ers believe Simmons has reached his ceiling, expect him to have a new NBA home before the 2021-22 season.

Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.

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