The Ben Simmons saga in Philadelphia continues to drag on as the world waits to see where the three-time All-Star will end up. The 2021-22 NBA season is set to get underway Oct. 19, and it has become abundantly clear that Simmons won't be a Sixer for much longer.
The 25-year-old refused to report training camp, which will allow the organization to withhold 25 percent of his salary and fine him. According to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Simmons has also emptied his three-bedroom condo and listed it on the market.
So the clock is ticking for the team to make a move before the season arrives. It's hard to imagine the star forward will still be on the roster come opening night. And apparently there are trades in the works to finally settle this situation.
The Blazers Turn Down a Potential Trade with the 76ers
There is still some hope that the Sixers' decision to freeze Simmons' pay could force him to return to the team. However, there were active negotiations to send him to Portland Trail Blazers.
Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium stated:
"If he was ever to report, it would certainly be with short-term intentions. ... The Sixers reportedly asked the Portland Trail Blazers for three first-round picks and three draft swaps as a part of a potential package that would send guard CJ McCollum to Philly in exchange for Simmons, but Portland rejected that proposal."
This supports the belief that the point forward plans to wait this out until there is a trade in place. Meanwhile, the organization has been stalling in hope that it can come to an agreement with the 2018 Rookie of the Year or find a team that will accommodate its high demands.
The Trail Blazers may have been a good fit for the Australian. Still, it is unreasonable to assume they would give up so many draft picks when Damian Lillard's future with the team is still uncertain. Portland could need the trade value or new prospect in case the organization is forced to rebuild.
The Pacers Have Emerged as a Top Destination for Ben Simmons
The Indiana Pacers have been consistently reported as a landing spot for Simmons recently.
Earlier in October, ESPN's Brian Windhorst suggested that the Pacers could be a sleeper pick to secure the All-Star forward during an episode of The Jump. And there seems to be something to that prediction, with SNY NBA insider Ian Begley reporting the following:
"League sources confirm that the Pacers are among the teams who have talked to the Philadelphia 76ers about a potential Simmons trade. Caris LeVert was among the players brought up in those communications. It is unknown if talks between Philadelphia and Indiana have progressed beyond run-of-the-mill contact."
This move would give Indiana a young star and playmaker to build around. In exchange, the Sixers could add a talented scorer and defender to its backcourt in LeVert. Playing him alongside Seth Curry may not be a permanent option, but it might work for the time being and leave room for improvement.
An attempt to pick up Malcolm Brogdon makes even more sense, but LeVert isn't a bad second option. The 27-year-old doesn't address the lack of playmaking as a replacement for Simmons, but he is inexpensive enough to allow Philadelphia to add more pieces.