Morey says “it’s less likely than likely” Simmons traded before deadline

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Daryl Morey understands your frustration.

Not that he’s going to pull the trigger on a Ben Simmons trade anytime soon because of it, but he says he understands. Morey jumped on “The Mike Missanelli Show” on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia and there were three key takeaways, beyond him saying, “I feel the fans’ frustration like just get a deal done.”

1) Morey said “it’s less likely than likely” Simmons gets traded before Feb. 10 deadline.

“Hopefully I’m wrong. It won’t be for lack of trying. We have a whole team of front office [people], it’s all we do. We have no other job that matters. It’s all we’re working on… The reason I say less likely is it takes two or three to tango and trades are not easy to construct in this league. There’s a lot of risk aversion. There’s a lot of decision makers that need to be hurdled. It’s very complex to put a deal together and that always makes it less likely than likely to get a deal done.”

2) This will likely end up a three-team or more trade than straight swap, and Sacramento could be involved.

“In this case, it’s probably going to take three sides, it’s probably going to take multiple teams, and whenever you’re involving a big trade with multiple teams, the odds of those deals happening are just low…

“I can tell you that for sure, there are deals with the Sacramento Kings that I think would work. Will those deals ever happen? I have no idea. Are there just trade deals with the Kings? Probably not. Is it multiple teams? Probably, but for sure there are deals that are possible that would go over our line.”

There are teams that value Simmons, but not at the price Morey is asking. Any construction likely calls for a player/contract one team wants to shed going to Oklahoma City — the only team that has and can create significant cap space this season — with some draft picks coming along. That could open the path for a trade to get done.

But this is going to end up a complex deal.

3) Joel Embiid‘s run of amazing play opens up the number of trades the 76ers will consider.

“I do think with how great Joel is, our line has moved down a little bit because Joel has lifted us into contention by his sheer will of greatness this year, that does push the number of deals that we would do more likely, if that makes any sense. It’s more likely than we can find ones that get us into that top few contention because of our great Joel is playing.”

Morey has been consistent from the start saying he wants an “impact player” back in a deal, and he had a list of 30 players he would consider. Maybe that number has grown by a few. Embiid’s month of outstanding play — including dropping 50 in 27 minutes Wednesday night — opens up the kinds of players Philly can pair with him.