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Ben Simmons Trade Drama 'Could Take 4 Years' to Resolve, 76ers' Daryl Morey Says

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVOctober 22, 2021

Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images

Despite the latest drama surrounding Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers team president Daryl Morey won't force a trade that doesn't make sense.

"People should buckle in, this is going to go a long time," Morey told 97.5 The Fanatic's Mike Missanelli on Thursday (h/t Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice). "... If we can trade Ben Simmons for a difference-maker, we will do it."

Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck

Morey: “You’re going to think I’m kidding, I’m not, this could take four years…we’re in the prime of Joel’s career…this is not a day to day [issue}]. Every day, we are going to expect Ben Simmons to be back here, or we trade him for a difference maker.”

Morey indicated he doesn't plan to trade the guard for role players.

The Sixers suspended Simmons for their first game against the New Orleans Pelicans. He is also set to miss Friday's game against the Brooklyn Nets, as he is "not mentally ready," per Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Simmons did not take part in a scheduled workout Thursday and was treated for back tightness. He was later cleared by the medical team.

"Ben Simmons is a difference-maker and we hope to integrate him with the team," Morey added Thursday. "It’s not looking optimistic right now, but every day we expect him to come in and help us."

Simmons is a three-time All-Star who has been named first-team All-Defense in each of the past two years. Despite last year's postseason struggles, the 76ers acknowledge his value and don't plan to sell him for no reason.

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"I would ask the question to Sixers fans: Would you rather eliminate a distraction or have lower playoff odds?" Morey asked.

Simmons remains under contract through the 2024-25 season, and Morey indicated he is in no rush to settle the situation.

The 25-year-old told Philadelphia officials in August that he wanted a trade and would not report to the team. Though he rejoined the team earlier this month, he still seemingly has no interest in playing.

The 76ers are currently without one of the top two-way players in the NBA and have nothing to show for it, but they won't lower their asking price for now.

Wojnarowski reported this week the team will only trade Simmons for "a player who'll help keep them a championship contender."

The squad finished last season with the best record in the Eastern Conference and return an MVP candidate in Joel Embiid along with top options like Tobias Harris, Seth Curry and emerging talent Tyrese Maxey.   

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