The Sacramento Kings have reportedly "ended pursuit" of a potential blockbuster deal for Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons ahead of the 2022 NBA trade deadline Feb. 10.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday the Kings, who he described as "once an eager suitor" for Simmons, have turned their focus to other options.
Simmons has yet to make an appearance during the 2021-22 season while awaiting a possible trade.
Wojnarowski reported the three-time All-Star's agent, Rich Paul, and members of the Sixers' front office held a meeting Jan. 12 to discuss solutions that could end the standoff, but the conversation brought the situation "no closer" to a conclusion.
Philly isn't willing to back off its high asking price for the 25-year-old LSU product on the trade market, and Paul said Simmons' "mental health hurdles" continue to prevent him from returning to play for the 76ers, per Woj.
Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic reported Monday current indications are the stalemate will "continue past the deadline" barring a vastly improved offer coming available.
With the Kings dropping out of the race, the chances of that happening reduce further.
Sacramento is struggling this season with an 18-32 record, putting the team in danger of missing the playoffs for the 16th straight year, but the front office is still trying to make a splash to improve the roster around De'Aaron Fox to end that drought in the near future.
Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported Thursday the Kings are showing interest in Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant along with Indiana Pacers bigs Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner.
It sounds like they ready to start exploring those type of avenues, and it's always possible they could circle back on Simmons over the summer if the Sixers still haven't found a trade partner.
Meanwhile, the Sixers seem content to accomplish whatever they can without one of their stars this season—they have still managed a 29-19 record to sit fifth in the East—before seeing whether the Simmons trade options are more favorable in the offseason.