Ben Simmons Rumors: Insiders Feel 76ers 'More Likely to Act at the Trade Deadline'

Adam WellsDecember 30, 2021

FILE - Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) goes to the basket during their NBA playoff basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, in Atlanta, in this Saturday, June 12, 2021, file photo. Simmons says he's taking his ball and going home. The 76ers say they still want their disgruntled All-Star guard. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
AP Photo/John Bazemore, File

There hasn't been a lot of news on the Ben Simmons front lately, though that could start to change with the NBA's trade deadline approaching. 

Per The Athletic's John Hollinger, the opinion from various insiders around the NBA is the Sixers are "more likely to act at the trade deadline" on a Simmons deal rather than drag the situation out until the offseason. 

After taking part in some offseason activities with the 76ers, Simmons has remained away from the team since October when he informed team officials he didn't feel mentally ready to play in games, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey went on 97.5 The Fanatic's The Mike Missanelli Show on Oct. 22 (h/t Noah Levick of NBC Sports Philadelphia) and said everyone "should buckle in" because "this is going to go a long time."

Morey went on to say the 76ers "have to get back either Ben Simmons playing well for us, who helps us win the championship, or we have to get back a difference-maker for Ben Simmons" because they don't want to waste the prime of Joel Embiid's career. 

Appearing on The Anthony Irwin Show (h/t Christian Rivas of Silver Screen and Roll), B/R's Jake Fischer said the Los Angeles Lakers recently called the 76ers about Simmons. 

"It was a short conversation, being that to get there the only salary numbers that could match Ben Simmons' own expensive salary is AD, or LeBron, or Russ'. THT and Kendrick Nunn and a bunch of minimums aren't getting there. Like literally, the only way of getting there contractually is to put in Russell Westbrook. And he's just not a player (the Sixers want)."

Fischer reported earlier this month that the 76ers have James Harden and Jaylen Brown on their wishlist of trade targets for Simmons, though there's no indication at this point that either player is going to be available. 

The Sixers currently rank sixth in the Eastern Conference with an 18-16 record. They place in the bottom half of the league in offensive rating (110.0), defensive rating (110.1) and net rating (-0.1), per Basketball-Reference.com

Simmons, who is signed through the 2024-25 season, has averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game in 275 career starts for the 76ers.