Despite all the drama and headlines, the Ben Simmons saga remains unchanged at its core: Simmons wants to be traded (and isn’t playing right now because he is not mentally ready to do so). Philadelphia GM Daryl Morey would be happy to trade Simmons but wants a “difference maker” back in any deal, a player who can help the 76ers compete for a ring with Joel Embiid at his peak. No team is offering that right now.
Serious trade talks for Simmons remain quiet, sources continue to tell NBC Sports. Until something changes the above status quo — an injury, a surprisingly slow start for a team — nothing is going to happen.
Some around the league have pointed to Dec. 15 as the day things will start to move on the Simmons trade front — the first day that most players who signed a contract this past offseason can be traded. Here’s what Marc Stein said in his newsletter:
Although league sources concur that no Simmons trade is imminent and that Morey is likely to wait until after Dec. 15 when more players are eligible to be dealt leaguewide before he pursues a deal with greater intent, we should also note that he vowed to take a so-called gap year with family members after his abrupt departure from the Houston Rockets in October 2020. Morey accepted the Sixers’ offer to take over their front office two weeks later.
On Dec. 15, more players enter the potential trade pool, but any deal still comes down to Morey lowering his asking price to reasonable and another team upping their offer to get to that level. Those things could happen before or after Dec. 15, but it becomes easier to match salaries at that point.
Where Simmons is mentally by mid-December, where the 76ers are in the standings, and many other variables will play into any potential Christmas time trade.
For now, there’s a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing with Simmons.