Report: Ben Simmons Trade Talks 'Gathering Momentum,' 'More Teams Engaged' with 76ers

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 10, 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

Trade talks surrounding disgruntled Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons have reportedly heated up in recent days.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, Simmons trade talks have been "gathering momentum" with "more teams engaged" and the possibility of two- and three-way trades being discussed.

Wojnarowski also noted that the Sixers are looking to land a "top-25 player" in exchange for Simmons.

Simmons has not played this season after expressing his desire to be traded during the offseason.

After initial reports that Simmons would not report to the 76ers this season, Simmons did report in October and practiced with the team, creating hope that he would play for Philly in 2021-22.

Simmons was sent home from a practice for refusing to take part in a drill, however, and suspended for the Sixers' season-opening game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

While Simmons had subsequent meetings with the team, he said he wasn't "mentally ready" to play, per Wojnarowski. Simmons has since been meeting with mental health professionals, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Simmons was a scapegoat for the Sixers' playoffs last season, as he struggled mightily in Philadelphia's second-round exit against the Atlanta Hawks.

The 2016 No. 1 overall draft pick made only 34.2 percent of his free throws during last season's playoffs and attempted just one three-point field goal. 

Simmons has been named an All-Star three times in four NBA seasons, and he finished second in the NBA Defensive Player of the Year voting last season, underscoring his status as an elite perimeter defender.

His career numbers of 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game are strong, but he shoots 59.7 percent from the charity stripe for his career and has only made a total of five three-pointers.

Simmons also set career lows in several major categories last season, including points (14.3 per game), rebounds (7.2 per game) and assists (6.9 per game).

Despite his deficiencies, there is reason to believe plenty of teams would be interested in acquiring the Aussie.

Simmons is a great defender and playmaker who is signed through 2025 and is still only 25 years old.

Parting ways with Simmons is a move that could come back to bite the Sixers if it happens, but he seemingly wants no part of playing in Philly any longer, and the 76ers could use some pieces to bolster a team that is off to a disappointing 14-12 start.