Ben Simmons Rumors: 76ers Considering 30 Players; PG Has 'Strong Desire to Be Traded'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVNovember 18, 2021

Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons takes part in a practice at the NBA basketball team's facility, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, in Camden, N.J. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Ben Simmons reportedly still wants to be traded, and the Philadelphia 76ers have their eyes on a number of players.

According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the three-time All-Star "reiterated his strong desire to be traded in recent days." What's more, Philadelphia has a list of around 30 players it would be happy with in a potential trade.

"There's an internal belief that a fair amount of them—let's say five to 10—could become available in the next year or two," Amick wrote.

The time frame underscores Philadelphia's position that the Simmons trade talks may last beyond this season. One source told Amick, "This is like a multiyear thing."

Simmons' agent, Rich Paul, spoke to Shams Charania of The Athletic and said Philadelphia "has furthered the mental health issues for Ben" by issuing fines and bringing negative publicity to the situation.

However, a team source said it is "absolutely not" accusing Simmons of lying about mental health concerns and believes he should be working toward a return, barring a decision from a mental health professional that he should not be playing.

"This is no longer about a trade," Paul said. "This is about finding a place where we can help Ben get back to his mental strength and get back on the floor. I want him on the floor playing the game that he loves. I want Ben on the floor whether that's in a 76ers uniform or any other uniform, that's not up to me, but I want him in a state where he can resume play. We want to cooperate and want to work him back on the floor."

Amick reported the NBA does not want to interfere with the situation and views potentially doing so as a "last step."

Simmons' future with the 76ers was one of the league's biggest talking points throughout the offseason, especially after he struggled during the team's second-round playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

There were trade requests, public comments from Joel Embiid and Doc Rivers that turned heads, and speculation about who Philadelphia could get in return for Simmons when it didn't seem to have much leverage with the playmaker apparently wanting out.

The 76ers also fined Simmons for missing a game and suspended him for what they deemed lackluster effort at practice.

While his ability on the floor has seemingly taken a backseat during the saga, Simmons is someone who could help Philadelphia compete for a title as a two-time All-Defensive selection who is a triple-double threat every time he is on the floor.

The team has lost five straight, although it doesn't seem like Simmons is nearing a return anytime soon.