There has been a new development in the Ben Simmons saga.
The Philadelphia 76ers guard is reportedly "open" to sitting out for the entire 2021-22 season despite the fines he's racking up, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.
"I think the sense is, if it takes the entire season to trade him, if it takes all year for the Sixers to find a trade that's acceptable for them, he's prepared for that," Shelburne said Monday on NBA Today.
The Athletic’s Sam Amick recently said on The Gastroenteritis Blues podcast that all of the teams he has talked to think a Simmons deal will be completed before the NBA's Feb. 10 trade deadline.
The Gastroenteritis Blues @GastroBluesPod
“To the question of ‘Is the deal gonna go down before the deadline?’ For whatever reason, the mood among every team I’ve talked to is that the answer is probably yes, that something will probably happen before the deadline.” - <a href="https://twitter.com/sam_amick?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@sam_amick</a> on the lastest <a href="https://twitter.com/GastroBluesPod?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GastroBluesPod</a> <a href="https://t.co/PQhAbX9CbW">https://t.co/PQhAbX9CbW</a>
Simmons, who requested a trade over the summer, reportedly told the Sixers in September that he has no intention to play for the franchise again, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The 25-year-old returned to the team's facility in October after a lengthy holdout, but he still has yet to suit up for them this season.
Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said during a radio interview on 97.5 The Fanatic in October that he was in no rush to trade Simmons (h/t Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice). The 76ers had trade discussions with the Sacramento Kings as recently as last week, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, but he described it as "exploratory due diligence."
NBA insider Marc Stein reported that the Kings could be convinced to take on Tobias Harris' contract to facilitate a deal for Simmons. The Sixers are reportedly looking to unload Harris' contract in a Simmons trade to give themselves far more financial flexibility moving forward.
Philadelphia was reportedly initially looking for an "All-Star-caliber player" in return for Simmons, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. However, no team has been willing to meet the Sixers' hefty asking price.
Simmons is under contract through the 2024-25 season after signing a five-year, $177.2 million deal in July 2019.