For what feels like an eternity now, three-time NBA All-Star Ben Simmons has been stuck in a bizarre game of musical chairs with the Philadelphia 76ers, where they take turns glaring at each other while walking in circles instead of somebody taking a damn seat in order to be crowned the victor.
This contentious song and dance was precipitated by Simmons shitting the bed in the playoffs last season, and eventually led to the 25-year-old demanding a trade during the offseason and refusing to show up for training camp, pissing off his teammates with his “borderline disrespectful” antics, and eventually returning to the team only to get himself kicked out of practice and suspended.
It’s been quite the ride.
So with one of the most versatile defenders in the league collecting dust on his couch, and each side locked in a standoff with guns drawn, Simmons’ agent, Chris Paul, spent his Wednesday attempting to broker peace between the two feuding parties. Sadly, it didn’t exactly go as planned.
With the NBA trade deadline a month away, Ben Simmons’ agent—Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul—met with Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey and general manager Elton Brand on Wednesday, and the sides remain at a stalemate over the All-Star guard’s immediate future, sources told ESPN.
Simmons is no closer to honoring the team’s hopes for a return to the court this season—and the Sixers’ steep asking price has brought Simmons no closer to a potential trade, sources told ESPN.
The meeting, which took place at an undisclosed restaurant in downtown Philly, has been described as “amicable” and “professional”. However, Morey made one thing abundantly clear: The 76ers won’t trade Simmons, who has yet to play a single game this season, unless they get assets in return that provide the franchise with the opportunity to compete for a championship.
Paul used the meeting to explain to the franchise that “Simmons’ mental health hurdles continue to preclude him from a return to play with the team,” and that “the desire for a trade out of Philadelphia remains in place.”
Basically, this sounds like when two exes meet and the freeloader is trying to negotiate access to the other’s Netflix account because they already made their own profile—and don’t wanna lose all the movies they added to My List.
By refusing to play while also demanding a trade, Simmons is killing his own trade value. Especially since the last time we saw him on a basketball court, he was acting like the basketball hoop was one of the monsters under his bed.
Philly has made it abundantly clear that they have absolutely no problem whatsoever granting his request, but he’s not exactly doing himself or the team any favors by refusing to play. Who wants to buy a car you can’t see pictures of, inspect, or test drive?
I find it hard to believe that Philly will outright fuck off a year of Joel Embiid’s prime, so I expect a deal to get done sooner than later, but if Simmons would like to expedite the process, he would do himself a world of good by suiting up and showing other teams throughout the league what he brings on the court.