Ben Simmons Trade at 2022 Deadline 'Less Likely Than Likely,' Per 76ers' Daryl Morey

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 20, 2022

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

The Philadelphia 76ers continue to explore trades involving Ben Simmons, but the front office still won't force a deal that doesn't work for them.

"I think it’s less likely than likely," team president Daryl Morey said of a potential Simmons trade ahead of the NBA's Feb. 10 trade deadline during a Thursday appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic (h/t Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice).

Morey also said there is "a very good chance" that Simmons does not get dealt before the Feb. 10 deadline (h/t Rich Hofmann of The Athletic).

Earlier this week, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported that Simmons is "open to sitting an entire season" if needed.

The 25-year-old has not appeared in a game yet this season. He told the team in October that "he wasn't mentally ready to play to his expectations and needed time to step away," according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Philadelphia—which earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference last season—hasn't been quite as good without Simmons in 2021-22. The team entered Thursday in fifth place in the East with a 26-18 record.

Joel Embiid is playing at an MVP level with averages of 28.0 points, 10.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game, but he seemingly isn't getting enough help.

Morey still believes no changes are necessary to compete for a championship.

"I absolutely believe this team, without any changes, has a chance [to win a title]," he said Thursday.

That could keep the 76ers from making an impact trade before the deadline, although they will still have discussions over the next few weeks. 

Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Wednesday the team was in talks with the Sacramento Kings on a potential trade that could bring in Buddy Hield, Tyrese Haliburton, Harrison Barnes and two first-round picks in exchange for Simmons, Tobias Harris and Matisse Thybulle.