Ben Simmons showed up to the 76ers practice facility Thursday, but due to the combination of a tight back (although he has been medically cleared to play) and not feeling mentally ready, he is out for the home opener Friday. It could be a while before we see Simmons lace them up for Philadelphia (if ever).
Is Simmons’ effort level putting the desired pressure on Sixers GM Daryl Morey to trade him? Doesn’t sound like it.
“People should buckle in, this is going to go a long time because our only task, my only job is to help us get the best chance to win the title,” Morey said on the Mike Missanelli Show on 97.5 The Fanatic.
Morey made the point continually that Simmons is a “difference maker” as a player and that all the trade offers that have come in for him so far involve Philly getting “role players,” and that’s not good enough. He wants players who help the 76ers contend.
“Ben Simmons is a difference maker,” Morey said. “Right now, I know there are people who are down on Ben Simmons, and there are good reasons for that from multiple perspectives both on the floor and off, but the reality is this guy is a multi-time All-Star… who is one of the most impactful defensive players in the league.
“This is a very good player, and to give ourselves the best chance to win the title, you need difference makers, you don’t need role players.”
Morey has wanted a Harden-like return in a trade for Simmons, but Simmons is no Harden. Morey is going to have to bring the asking price down at some point. The two superstars Morey had his eyes on are not going anywhere: Damian Lillard said he is staying in Portland (at least for now) and Bradley Beal is trying to recruit other stars to Washington, not bolt the Wizards. There are different levels of role players, and at some point, a couple of high-quality role players that fit the 76ers system and style may be what they need to be in contention with a peak Joel Embiid in the paint.
As for now, Morey and the 76ers are moving forward, and continue to say they want Simmons to be part of the team, even if that is about as likely as Pusha-T and Drake touring together.
“We’re taking this day by day,” Morey said. “Bottom line is Ben Simmons is a difference maker, our hope is to reintegrate him into the team. We feel good about our team and chances as we stand now, we’d feel better with Ben Simmons as part of the team.”
Good luck with that.
But we may have to wait a while on a trade.