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Report: Klutch official says not a chance Ben Simmons plays for 76ers after trade deadline

76ers guard Ben Simmons

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 07: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles during warmups before the game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on January 07, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

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The 76ers might not trade Ben Simmons before the Feb. 10 trade deadline.

Then what?

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report on the “Dunc’d On” podcast:

The Sixers are still hoping that, after the trade deadline comes and goes, maybe Ben will come back and play. But someone I talked to with Klutch yesterday said not a chance.

Sam Amick of The Athletic:

In terms of Simmons’ eventual availability with a new team, the message has been sent that he would be ready to play after a few weeks of intensified conditioning and court action.

The 76ers reportedly stopped fining Simmons, who said he was mentally unready to play, because he was ostensibly working toward being able to fulfill his contractual duties.

But someone from Simmons’ agency is already eliminating the possibility Simmons could play for Philadelphia? That raises questions. That Simmons could apparently take the court far more quickly if dealt to another team only increases suspicion.

There might be unique mental issues with Simmons playing for the 76ers. But where is the line between Simmons not being mentally ready to play for Philadelphia and Simmons just not wanting to play for Philadelphia? These are messy gray areas.

The 76ers could resume fining Simmons, as they have done on and off throughout the season. But that would likely be challenged. However, they might prefer that – or even paying Simmons not to play – rather than trading Simmons for less than optimal return.

This is just such a difficult situation for everyone involved.