The Summer of Ben Simmons is at a bit of a crossroads. Deals for Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal don't seem to be impending, but every buzzy rumor that trickles out seems like Simmons is still headed out before the NBA season begins. So... what's actually happening?
A new report Tuesday suggests we should still expect the Sixers to move Simmons. The Inquirer's Keith Pompey joined The Mike Missanelli Show on 97.5 The Fanatic to discuss what's happening with Simmons as both sides bide their time and look for answers.
Pompey gave an interesting look at the ordeal, including information sourced from people close to the situation:
"I think he's gonna get moved.
"I felt like, talking to people I spoke to and sources, they all thought it was going to happen in the preseason. Happen maybe right before training camp, in training camp, what have you. Maybe right before the final rosters. But the belief is that he is still going to get traded. I think that's right."
Good to know!
There are a number of reports swirling about Simmons now that the free agency hubbub has simmered down a bit, including a rumbling from ESPN's Kendrick Perkins that the Sixers star might be willing to sit out and not report to training camp. How reliable is that information? No one can be sure. Perkins has an in with certain parts of the NBA crowd, but Simmons' inner circle doesn't seem like a place he has access to. We'll see.
It has sounded at multiple points this offseason like a Simmons trade is a matter not of "if", but of "when". ESPN's NBA news breaker Adrian Wojnarowski reported late last month that the Sixers would "like to get a deal done before training camp". If the Sixers are indeed still chasing a deal before training camp, as Pompey is reporting, that gives them until Sept. 28, or 48 days.
Lillard still hasn't requested a trade, as far as we know. Beal seems reluctant to ask out of Washington. So what exactly can President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey do to facilitate a trade that will send Simmons elsewhere?
He has basically two options: sweeten the pot with extra assets from the Sixers' side - maybe throw in a young coveted player, or an extra first-round pick - or accept lesser value from the opposing side - maybe from the Sacramento Kings. Neither seem like something Morey, the ultimate value-chaser, wants to do. He's not going to make a bad trade just to say he made a trade.
But something's got to give here. We'll see if it's Morey, or someone else.