The Sixers' Ben Simmons trade talks have reportedly cooled, with nearly a month until recently-signed free agents can be traded and teams around the league still trying to figure out who exactly they are in this year's NBA landscape.
But if a pair of reports this week are to be believed, it doesn't sound like the field for a Simmons deal is trending in the right direction.
First came buzz from HoopsHype's Michael Scotto, who reported in new episode of the HoopsHype pod on Wednesday that he's heard from execs around the league buzz about Simmons' value dipping:
"Nobody feels sorry for Daryl Morey around the league. They think his asking price is way too high coming off the playoffs. Teams know Ben Simmons doesn’t want to be there. I’ve heard this from some executives, too, that when Joel Embiid was healthy and before their recent losing streak, this team was performing well without him. Some executives said to me it further lowered the trade value for Ben. When you lose a star player, you typically struggle, but Philadelphia coming out of the gate, was leading the Eastern Conference."
Not exactly what you want to hear, although the Sixers thriving with this current team and a healthy Embiid is actually pretty welcome, both front office-wise and fandom-wise. Before Embiid went on the COVID list, the Sixers were a fun watch - and a winning team. Could be worse, even if it doesn't help Morey move Simmons.
But a new report on Thursday from The Athletic's Sam Amick doubled down on the "Simmons' trade stock is plummeting" talk:
"In the absence of a Simmons return, sources say, the Sixers' belief is rival teams have grown even less motivated than before about making a move for Simmons because of the escalating uncertainty that surrounds him."
And that, my friends, is a lose-lose. Because after a couple weeks of focusing on the mental health aspects of Simmons' situation, it once again sounds like a trade is the focal point here, and it sounds increasingly like Simmons is not going to return to a court until he's traded.
Which means that, for the time being, Simmons' value is going to keep on tumbling. And if he doesn't play any more basketball before a trade... how exactly are the Sixers supposed to re-inflate interest around the league in the guy?
This is a far cry from the reported talks the Sixers had with the Celtics, when Morey was rumored to be seeking a Jaylen Brown return in a deal.
I know Morey is buckled in for the long haul here, but every coming report makes it sound more and more like the Sixers are going to eventually take back pennies on the dollar for Simmons if they can eventually move him.
Is anyone going to come out ahead when this is all said and done? Or is it going to be one big, collective L? What a mess.