ESPN's Tim Bontemps reported the potential decision to deal Embiid over Simmons is based on the post player's durability concerns.
"If they tried to move [Tobias Harris or Al Horford], I don't think they'd get value in return," an NBA executive told Bontemps. "They'd ask to be incentivized. Whereas if they move Ben or Joel, they'll get a lot more."
The 76ers currently sit fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 34-21 record, but they have rarely looked like a legitimate championship contender throughout the campaign.
Simmons' frustrations came out in a postgame interview after a blowout loss to the Miami Heat in early February during which he called the team "soft."
"The physicality side of things, we gotta step that up. That comes with experience—also just comes with personality," he told reporters. "Don't get bullied. Fight over screens, get through screens. If you gotta knock somebody over, knock 'em over. If you gotta hit somebody in the face and knock 'em down so they don't score, hit 'em in the face."
How the Sixers perform in the playoffs will likely determine whether the front office opts to restructure its core group of players over the summer.
Embiid's durability has been a consistent concern since the Sixers selected him with the third overall pick in the 2014 draft. He missed his entire first two years in the NBA because of injuries and hasn't played more than 64 games in any campaign.
Simmons also missed his rookie season in 2016-17 because of a foot injury, but he bounced back to miss just four games over the next two years. He's sat out only two contests during the current campaign.
An early postseason exit would likely lead to significant changes in Philadelphia, and it sounds like Embiid could be the top trade chip to make it happen.
The Sixers feature enough talent to overcome the up-and-down regular season to make some serious playoff noise, though.