Since the regular season began three months ago, most of the Sixers players have kept Ben Simmons’ name out of their collective mouth, much like he has kept himself out of sight, if not out of mind.
But as we enter the final weeks before the NBA trade deadline, the rumors begin to multiply, as insiders speculate which teams could be suitors for Simmons, and what a Simmons trade could bare for a Sixers team that could use that one more player to round out a title-contending roster.
One player who has been vocal about Simmons, and the team’s strategy on what to do about him, is small forward Danny Green.
On the latest edition of his Inside the Green Room podcast, Green spoke with his co-host, Harrison Sanford, about the possibility of Simmons being traded before the February 10th trade deadline.
“I don’t think [teams] are making available what we can get in return for that trade. So, I say keep [Simmons]. I don’t think we’re wasting a year, but you don’t want a year of where you could possibly be a contender, but you’re not because of one guy sitting out, so you want to try to explore that option.”
“Everybody else’s name is in the mix, you don’t know what’s going to happen. A lot of it’s just talk. Some people pull the trigger and just panic before the deadline, so you never know what’s going to happen.”
“I think Daryl Morey is smart with playing the long game and hoping and seeing at the deadline or after the deadline that he may come back. [Simmons] may have to join us, I don’t think he’ll take a full loss on a year. If he does, that’s on him, he’s strong… it’s only up to him, really. I think Daryl Morey plays the long game and gets what he wants in return, or keeps him and tries to make it work or make him after the All-Star Break, kind of figure it out.”
Morey has said that he’s willing to wait for a team to come forward with a “difference-maker” to trade for Simmons. Preaching patience, while smart in the long run, could also hurt the franchise, if a full season of Joel Embiid’s prime were to come and go without making a true effort to try to fight for a championship with a full roster.
A report Wednesday said that nothing has changed in the Simmons’ camp: he has no intentions of playing another minute in the Sixers uniform, a situation that makes moving him all the more difficult.
The GM said before the season that a trade for Simmons “could take four years.” I’m not sure anyone really believes that. Green says he’s on Morey’s side – not like he has much of a choice – but I wonder if the rest of Green’s teammates agree with Morey’s patience.