Well, the 2021 NBA Draft came and went and Ben Simmons is still on the Sixers. No trade materialized - not for Bradley Beal, not for Damian Lillard, not for anyone.
So uh... what's next?
Buzz coming out of front offices the morning after the draft makes it sound like the Sixers are still working on a deal, but fans interested in a quick move might be disappointed. This could take weeks, or even months.
ESPN's NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday morning that he's heard from sources close to the organization: the Sixers aren't going to rush into a deal, but they have a timeline in mind.
Here's what Wojnarowski reported on ESPN's morning show 'Get Up':
"Philadelphia is still asking for a lot. Teams are not willing to be strip-mined to trade for Ben Simmons. They're going to continue to try and find a way, to see if there's a deal here as free agency starts. You kind of get another cycle of deal-making here. But he's four years left on his deal, they're not going to just give him away in Philly. Whatever they get back for him, they've got to believe it continues to make them a championship contender. But they'd like to get a deal done before training camp."
The idea that they're not going to just rush into a deal or give Simmons away certainly jibes with reporting from NBC Sports Philadelphia's own John Clark, who reported after the draft Thursday night that the Sixers aren't in a rush to trade Simmons:
But the final sentence of Wojnarowski's 'Get Up' hit is what caught my attention: the Sixers would "like to get a deal done before training camp."
We've heard that same line of thinking recently about a trade from the local football team, and nothing materialized on that front in time, so we'll see if something is possible here. But Wojnarowski seems to be hearing from people within the organization that a deal will ideally be done before the Sixers assemble again as a team, and that's fascinating because it makes a Simmons trade sound like more of a "when" than an "if" situation.
Then again, if President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey can't find the right fit or return in a trade, perhaps Simmons remains a Sixer into October and is playing basketball in South Philly for a fifth straight season.
We'll see if the front office can figure something out.