So far, Philadelphia is trying the latter – unsuccessfully. Doc Rivers and star Joel Embiid tried to coax Simmons into reporting. The team is also reportedly planning to fine Simmons. Yet, he still skipped media day today.
How did the 76ers, who had the offseason to negotiate a deal, get into this mess?
76ers president Daryl Morey:
They came to us and asked for a trade shortly after the season, his representatives in Chicago. We were not looking to trade him.
Philadelphia wasn’t looking to trade Simmons then for the same reason he hasn’t been traded yet now: It’s not the right timing to maximize the return.
I believe Simmons’ agent, Rich Paul, requested a trade at that Chicago meeting. The writing was on the wall with Simmons’ future with the 76ers. It was better to get ahead of an exit.
It’s tougher to believe Morey had no interest in trading Simmons, whose fit with Embiid had become increasingly problematic as the team chased higher postseason goals. Morey’s denial means little. He’s simply not credible on these matters.