The story of the offseason has been will the 76ers trade Ben Simmons, and if they do what will they get in return? It is now a lot more likely that Simmons will be traded, and the Sixers will not get as much in return as previously hoped.
With the report that Ben Simmons has asked to be traded out of Philadelphia, the Sixers’ trade leverage has taken a huge blow. On August 31st, Keith Pompey reported that Simmons told the Sixers “he no longer wants to be a Sixer and does not intend to report to training camp.” Simmons’ trade value was already at an all-time low after struggling yet again in the playoffs. A recurring theme throughout his career. The Sixers were hoping that they could get another All-Star in return for Simmons. With rumors swirling about players like Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal swapping places with Simmons.
Getting an All-Star in return is now highly unlikely for Philadelphia. Everyone knew the Sixers were looking to trade Simmons, but they always had the option of keeping him. Now, they do not really have that option. If Simmons is willing to skip training camp and be fined by the organization, there is a good chance he refuses to play for them. Simmons has made a lot of money in his career, and it will not hurt his pockets if he does not get paid. This puts Philadelphia in a very awkward position.
No team is going to give the 76ers too much for Simmons if they know he refuses to play. The best offers that were previously on the table are almost certainly gone now. If you were a team that wanted Ben Simmons, you can force the Sixers to start the season with him on the roster. If that happens, not only will Philadelphia’s second best player be refusing to play, but the 23% of their cap space that Simmons takes up would go to waste.
Joel Embiid’s injury history makes the situation even more complicated. The Sixers are in win now mode. How long can Embiid stay healthy? History suggests that he will not have a super long career because of the beatings his body has taken. First round draft picks do Philadelphia no good. Philadelphia does not have time to develop young talent. They need to win while they still have Embiid in his prime. And who knows how long that will last.
Photo Via: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty