Danny Green, everyone's favorite podcast-friendly shooting guard, joined Sports Illustrated's Howard Beck for a 40-minute chat this week and accidentally got some basketball fans' hopes up.
Green - who hasn't been afraid since the season ended to talk about what went wrong for the Sixers, to discuss thoughts on Sixers fans, and plenty more - appeared on Beck's The Crossover pod to talk about his recent wedding, his offseason, and the Sixers' upcoming season.
And, of course, Green talked about Ben Simmons. Because if you're not talking about Ben Simmons, you're not even talking.
Beck asked Green how closely he's been paying attention to the Simmons trade rumors that have consumed the NBA world:
"BECK: How closely are you paying attention to [the Simmons talks]? I assume this is at least some subject of conversation as you and your teammates are texting each other in the summer.
"GREEN: Yes. I've texted here and there. Mostly we just wish each other happy birthday, enjoy the offseason, or if we're in the same city we chop it up some. But I was just working out with one of our coaches here, and we were just talking about what's going on with what he's heard, what we've heard. We don't hear from the higher-ups, we don't get that intel, or they don't consult with us before they make moves. We're hearing who we might get, who we might lose, and we're all very interested and paying very close attention to it.
"We don't know where that's at with the organization, or where he's at with it. We talk here and there, try to chime in and text and check in with him, but for the most part I'm going in with the mindset that he's going to be with us and we're just trying to get him on board. That's the mentality I have, and hopefully he has the same one."
It's super interesting to hear Green admit that players and coaches on the team have basically been gossiping with each other as they try to figure what the heck is going on with the team's second-best player. It's an unusually hush-hush situation with the beginning of training camp less than a month away.
And the way Green discusses trying to reach out to Simmons and get on the same page is also interesting, if only because we've heard rumblings about the team struggling to get in touch with the All-Star guard this offseason.
All of that is slightly-to-fairly intriguing, but this next segment is what, thanks to some out of context clips, raised a number of eyebrows on social media on Tuesday.
It sounded like Green was talking as if a Simmons trade was a definite. In reality, after his previous answer about assuming Simmons will be with the Sixers, Green was asked about a hypothetical - one he played along with - Sixers team post-Simmons trade:
"BECK: You don't have to agree, but in my mind I think it's inevitable, it's almost a given, because I think it's going to be tough to keep him after all that's been discussed, all that's been in the media - so what changes for Danny Green to not have Ben Simmons as the guy out there orchestrating, pushing it on the break and everything, breaking down defenses and getting you open threes:
"GREEN: It's going to be tough to say, because we don't know what we're going to get back for him. We may get a point guard, we may get wings. That may change a lot. I might be playing with a different type of point guard, I might be playing with different types of wings, I might be coming off the bench, I don't know who we're going to get. So it could change a lot. And also defensively, I'd probably become the primary defender. Not saying it's an issue or problem for me, but we have one less wing defender without him. Now it's me and Matisse - not saying other guys don't play defense but you're talking about main defenders. Ben a big part of that."
Green isn't admitting that a Simmons trade is inevitable, even though it might be. He's simply entertaining the hypothetical.
At this point in his career Green is too successful and seasoned to hit journalists - particularly ones he trusts, and considering he sat down with Beck for a lengthy one-on-one this is one he trusts - with a "I don't want to go there" or "I don't like to speculate". He plays the game, and in this case playing the game is talking about what happens if Simmons isn't there. Green gave a good, well-thought-out answer about what his role would be if Simmons is gone next season.
In short: No, Danny Green didn't confirm a Simmons trade is guaranteed. Yes, Danny Green and the majority of the Sixers organization is in the dark about the Simmons situation.
And, yes, we're still all waiting for the big shoe to drop.