An Eventful Recap
It’s been a while since a major update on the seemingly endless Ben Simmons situation. To refresh, the troubled all-star refuses to be a part of the Philadelphia 76ers organization. Unfortunately, he and his agent Rich Paul would prefer to a fresh start on a different team. Moreover, Simmons claimed to be struggling with mental health issues. Therefore, he would not participate in any team activities. As a result, the 76ers organized a meeting between Simmons and the team’s specialists. Since these events, it’s been reported that the absent guard has been spotted at Philadelphia college St. Joe’s University, and even Wells Fargo Center.
There’s been a noticeable amount of trade buzz around the all-star in the last few days. Reportedly, 76ers president Daryl Morey has a list of around 30 players he’d trade Ben Simmons for. Obviously, Morey is being extremely careful with this tricky situation, as he wants to make the right move for the organization and Joel Embiid’s prime. Without question, this is a difficult issue because the front office needs to make a deal that put the 76ers in contention. On the other hand, the organization doesn’t want to make an quick decision that would doom the team’s long-term future.
This past Wednesday, Sam Amick of The Athletic announced that the Sacramento Kings are interested in Ben Simmons. Most importantly, Sacramento doesn’t have any players they view as untouchable, even guards De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. Last season, De’Aaron Fox was a near all-star and had the best year of his career. He averaged 25.2 points per game and 7.2 assists per game, which are both career-highs. However, Fox has noticeably struggled this season, averaging only 20.9 points per game and shooting a cold career-low 25.4% from three. On the other hand, Tyrese Haliburton is a second-year guard who’d be considered as a more traditional point guard. Statistically, he’s averaging 13.6 points per game, 6.8 assists per game, and shooting an accurate 43.5% from beyond the arc. Sacramento has a 16-24 record and are in 11th place in the Western Conference.
Also saying that you have “Tyrese squared” as your backcourt is a pretty cool nickname.— Harrison Grimm (@Harrison_Grimm) January 5, 2022
This afternoon, Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that the Atlanta Hawks could be a team interested in Ben Simmons. However, the likelihood of a trade between only Atlanta and Philadelphia that involves Simmons is close to impossible. This is true because of Daryl Morey’s strict list of players he’s interested in, and the Hawks obviously view star guard Trae Young as untouchable. Realistically, the only way Atlanta could acquire Ben Simmons would be in a trade involving multiple teams and assets.
As I indeed reported in my This Week In Basketball column expertly aggregated below, Atlanta has emerged as suitor to monitor for Philadelphia's Ben Simmons.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 7, 2022
Lots more trade scuttle in the piece here: https://t.co/90TI6eGMN3
Lotsa room for the link after the 👀, @TheNBACentral https://t.co/nEuD6sY8Po
Ultimately, the Philadelphia 76ers are still trying to convince Ben Simmons to return to the organization, despite all the public outrage. (reported by Marc Stein of the New York Times). Last season, Simmons finished 2nd in the Defensive Player of the Year voting and got his third consecutive all-star selection. Regardless of the negative stigma around Simmons, Philadelphia could certainly benefit from his abilities to facilitate, push the pace, and not to mention his elite defensive talents.