Thursday, December 2 2021

The 2021-22 NBA season approaches ever so quickly and that means teams have to make decisions fairly soon on big offseason moves that they have or had in mind.

The Philadelphia 76ers are certainly one of those teams as they have to figure out what they are going to do with star guard Ben Simmons. It is no secret that the team has been taking trade calls on the 25-year old 3-time All-Star and with training camp set to begin in about a month, the clock is ticking on any potential deal.

It would be awkward to bring Simmons back to the group and have him continue to be coached by Doc Rivers and an organization that looked to move him all summer. The dates of training camp and media day will put a sense of urgency on all of this.

ESPN did a 5-on-5 set with NBA insiders Royce Young, Nick Freidell, Andrew Lopez, Kevin Pelton, and Kirk Goldsberry to discuss whether Simmons will be traded or not. Here were their answers:

1.) Simmons stays

This comes from Royce Young who said this about the Simmons situation:

Conventional NBA wisdom says it’s unlikely because media day and training camp set an unofficial deadline in these kinds of situations. The pending awkwardness of opening up camp with a player you intend to trade creates urgency, both for the Sixers and for the opposing teams that have been low-balling offers to this point. If Simmons isn’t part of their future, moving on sooner than later has its own inherent value.

While he is correct about training camp normally being the hard date on these specific types of situations, if the Sixers do not get what they desire–i.e., Damian Lillard–then it does not make sense to trade him just to trade him.

2.) Simmons staying is looking likely

Up next was Nick Freidell who added this take on the Simmons situation:

At this point, it’s looking a little more likely by the day — but it’s still hard to believe that the Sixers would want to start the season with Simmons after the way things ended in the playoffs. Can you imagine how loud the “boos” will be the first time he messes something up or looks hesitant at the line? I understand not wanting to make a bad deal, but is it possible to fix his confidence when a portion of the fan base has already lost so much confidence in him?

It would be tough for Simmons on opening night if he is here with the Sixers. The Philadelphia fan base can be as ruthless as they come and they were obviously upset with the way the 2020-21 season came to an end. They would let their frustration be heard and it could hurt Simmons’ confidence more.

3.) Surprisingly likely that Simmons stays

Up next was Andrew Lopez who was surprised that Simmons hasn’t been moved yet:

It seems very likely at this point, which is a bit of a surprise (to me, at least). There’s still a chance that Daryl Morey tries to work a deal once training camp starts, but he’s also going to try and get the most possible value for Simmons. That could mean a James Harden-type situation in which he plays a few games before a deal gets made. Still, it just feels like an awkward situation all around.

The reason why the Sixers have not made a move yet is that they are remaining patient in hopes that Damian Lillard becomes available up in Portland. The team’s ultimate goal is to acquire the superstar scorer to team him up with Joel Embiid.

4.) Sixers will face pressure to move Simmons

Kevin Pelton then took his turn and he offered up this situation:

My anticipation is that as training camp draws closer, the Sixers will face more pressure to trade Simmons. The question is whether that pressure will supersede the desire to hold on to their most tradeable player before the situations with Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard are resolved. I’m guessing that potential makes Simmons being part of the roster to start the season somewhat more likely than not.

The pressure will be there to get a deal done, but as Pelton pointed out, the Sixers want a guy like Lillard or Bradley Beal. At the moment, neither of those star players are available in any trades.

5.) Ultimately, Simmons ends up in Philadelphia on opening night

Finally, Kirk Goldsberry offered this take on the situation in Philadelphia:

At this point, it’s likely. The Sixers have been shopping him around for months now and have yet to find someone willing to give them the return they desire. The rumored packages Philly is seeking are massive, and it’s unsurprising that they haven’t found a trade partner willing to part with multiple picks and young talent in exchange for a player with some big questions right now. Simmons still has a chance to be a terrific two-way force in this league, but trading him now means selling low on him.

Trading him at the beginning of training camp would be selling low at this point. It would be disappointing to move the star guard for pennies on the dollar considering how talented he is and the type of value he can bring to an NBA team. The best move now is to just remain patient and try again at some point in the future.

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Source: Yahoo Sports

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