The Philadelphia 76ers haven't lost hope on inserting Ben Simmons back into the rotation.
NBA insider Marc Stein reported Monday the Sixers "continue to regard the hard-for-outsiders-to-fathom prospect of convincing [Simmons] to come back to the team this season as their 'goal No. 1.'"
John Hollinger of The Athletic reported on Dec. 30 that the "consensus opinion around the league remains that Philadelphia is more likely to act at the trade deadline" regarding a Simmons trade. The franchise's trade demands could prevent that from happening, though.
The Athletic's Sam Amick reported on Jan. 5 that the Sixers have remained insistent on getting a "massive haul" for the three-time All-Star. The Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard and Washington Wizards' Bradley Beal were cited as two targets for president of basketball operations Daryl Morey.
Even if the 76ers still have long-term reservations about him, Simmons suiting up for the team is probably the best way for everybody to get what they want. His exile is doing little to improve his trade value or address concerns about his general unwillingness to shoot.
Right now, the lasting image of the 25-year-old is his complete vanishing act in the critical stages of a conference semifinals exit at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks. His performance was so bad head coach Doc Rivers couldn't definitively say whether he was good enough to be the starting point guard for a championship team.
It's no surprise that opposing teams aren't willing to go above and beyond to work out a trade.
Should Simmons return and showcase a new jumper or atone for last year's postseason, meeting the Sixers' asking price might become an easier decision.