76ers Open To Trading Ben Simmons
According to The Athletic, the Philadelphia 76ers are willing to engage in conversations regarding trades for point guard Ben Simmons. The 76ers reportedly have high standards and expect a huge package in return for Simmons, a three-time All-Star.
Simmons’ agent, Rich Paul, has met with Philadelphia management at least once since the conclusion of the season regarding the future of his client.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Simmons and head coach Doc Rivers have met to discuss future plans for improvement, specifically regarding the point guard’s shooting.
A majority of the blame for the 76ers’ second-round playoff series loss to the Atlanta Hawks has been directed towards Simmons, who averaged 9.9 points per game and shot 15-of-45 from the field in the series (33.3% FG). In the final three games, Simmons attempted just 14 shots, while only attempting three in the fourth quarter of the entire series.
In June, it was reported that the 76ers were committed to keeping Simmons as a major part of the franchise. Simmons has four years and $147 million left on his contract. He is still just 24 years old.
Teams around the league are speculating the 76ers’ interest in trade deals and overall expectations. An Eastern Conference executive told Sports Illustrated, “You won’t get another ‘star’ for him. They might have to attach a young player just to move him.”
“People can say he is good in all these other areas, but with today’s game, shooting is the most important skill. Are teams going to take a chance to build around a guy that is scared to shoot?” said another executive in their own interview with Sports Illustrated.
After the 76ers were knocked out of the playoffs, Philadelphia’s president of basketball operations, Daryl Morey, was asked about Simmons’ future with the team. “We have a very strong group we believe in,” he said. “None of us can predict the future of what is going to happen. We love what Ben brings. We love what Joel Embiid brings. We love what Tobias Harris brings. In terms of what’s next, we’ll do what is best for the 76ers to give us the best chance to win a championship with every single player on the roster.”