Woj: Ben Simmons-Kyrie Irving Trade Talks Haven't Taken Place Between 76ers, Nets

Erin WalshOctober 23, 2021

Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers have reportedly talked to many teams around the NBA about a deal for disgruntled star Ben Simmons. 

However, the Sixers have not reached out to the Brooklyn Nets about a potential Simmons-Kyrie Irving swap, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on NBA Countdown Friday:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Reporting on NBA Countdown on Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving. <a href="https://t.co/tBwxrljKZp">pic.twitter.com/tBwxrljKZp</a>

Irving won't be able to practice or play with the Nets until he complies with New York's COVID-19 vaccination rules, the team announced before the beginning of the 2021-22 season. So, that's why there's speculation that the Sixers could seek out a deal for the point guard. 

However, it's not surprising that the Sixers and Nets haven't spoken about a Simmons-Irving swap, even though the salaries match up and it would be a relatively easy deal to complete. 

NBA Insider Marc Stein explained in a newsletter earlier this month that "there is belief in some corners of the league that Irving would retire, or at least deeply ponder it, if Brooklyn suddenly traded him." 

Irving could also become a free agent next summer if he declines his player option for the 2022-23 season, so it wouldn't really make sense for Philly to take a gamble on adding the veteran given the uncertainty. 

Simmons insisted on being traded for most of the offseason and reportedly told the Sixers he has no intention to play for the franchise again, per Wojnarowski

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The 25-year-old also reportedly lost contact with the Sixers front office over the summer and even denied a meeting with his teammates, who were trying to get him to return to the team for the 2021-22 season.  

Simmons returned to the Sixers facility Oct. 11 after a lengthy holdout, but has yet to fully engage in a team activity since returning and was kicked out of practice and suspended for the opener after refusing to participate in a drill. He reportedly told the team Friday that he isn't mentally ready to play and needed time to step away, Wojnarowski reported. 

The 76ers are reportedly still trying to move Simmons but haven't been able to find a trade partner due to their high asking price that includes an All-Star player. 

During a radio interview on 97.5 The Fanatic (h/t Philly Voice) on Thursday, Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey emphasized that he is in no rush to trade Simmons, saying, "People should buckle in. This is going to take a long time."

Philadelphia opened the season with a 117-97 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday, proving they can win without Simmons. Perhaps the 76ers will become more desperate for help if they are outside of the playoff picture come the trade deadline.  

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