Ben Simmons Trade Rumors: Teams Don't Believe 76ers Are 'Bluffing' About Holding Star

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 28, 2022

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. Ben Simmons can't shoot and lost his confidence. He blamed a mental block on the worst free-throw shooting percentage in NBA playoff history. The 76ers head into the offseason faced with a big question - do they try and salvage Simmons or deal the former No. 1 pick. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
AP Photo/John Bazemore, File

Other NBA teams reportedly believe Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey is willing to keep disgruntled point guard Ben Simmons beyond the Feb. 10 trade deadline.

According to Marc Stein of Substack (h/t HoopsHype.com), teams don't feel Morey is "bluffing" when it comes to hanging onto Simmons.

Rival teams are reportedly of the mind that Morey will make a "rather hopeless attempt" to convince Simmons to play down the stretch this season before possibly using him as a chip to acquire a top player during the offseason such as Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, Boston Celtics guard/forward Jaylen Brown or Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden.

It has long been known that Simmons requested a trade out of Philadelphia, but the Sixers have yet to pull the trigger on a deal, as they were at least at one point attempting to convince Simmons to stay.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft is under contract through the 2024-25 season, meaning the Sixers don't necessarily have to move him.

Given that they have a dominant MVP candidate in center Joel Embiid and are fifth in the Eastern Conference, however, it stands to reason that the 76ers would benefit from trading Simmons before the deadline and bringing in help.

The issue with that is a perceived inflated asking price on Philadelphia's part, which is something that may have knocked one of Simmons' top suitors out of the running.

On Friday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Sacramento Kings ended their pursuit of Simmons due to their belief that the asking price is "too steep."

Simmons is a flawed player, but he also brings a lot to the table, especially from a defensive and playmaking perspective.

The three-time All-Star averaged 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game last season while shooting 55.7 percent from the field. He also finished second in the NBA Defensive Player of the Year voting.

Simmons struggles mightily as a shooter from beyond the arc and the free-throw line, though, which limits his potential offensively.

He has made only five three-point field goals during his entire career and shoots 59.7 percent from the charity stripe for his career also.

Simmons was even worse from the line during last season's playoffs, shooting 34.2 percent. He was also reluctant to take shots, even if they were of the high-percentage variety.

As a result, he became a scapegoat of sorts for the Sixers' failures after they were knocked out in the second round of the playoffs despite being the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

It is unclear exactly where Simmons' value lies, but if the goal is to land another star in exchange for him, the offseason may be the most realistic time to make it happen.