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Reported consensus expectation: 76ers likely to deal Ben Simmons by trade deadline

76ers star Ben Simmons

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 14: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts after dunking the ball against the Brooklyn Nets at the Wells Fargo Center on April 14, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers defeated the Nets 123-117. 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 Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

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76ers president Daryl Morey said the Ben Simmons standoff could last four years.

But Morey’s posturing hasn’t convinced everyone.

John Hollinger of The Athletic:

Despite the Sixers’ bluster to the contrary, the consensus opinion around the league remains that Philadelphia is more likely to act at the trade deadline than carry this all the way through ’til next summer, so as to avoid punting on a year of Joel Embiid’s prime.

Remember, rival executives expected in August for Philadelphia to trade Simmons. The saga has dragged on for months.

Maybe that’ll change now that Dec. 15 has passed. Most players signed last offseason are now trade eligible. Simmons trade talks were reportedly heating up earlier this month.

But Morey will reportedly wait until he can get a star in return. The daily drama around Simmons has quieted. Though squandering a season of Embiid’s prime is far from ideal, the 76ers have been middling so far. Even with a moderate boost to the roster, this might not be their year, anyway. Perhaps, it’ll be better to maximize future seasons with a Simmons trade.

That’s the message Morey has tried to sell, at least.

Correctly or not, many people around the league apparently aren’t buying it.