Daryl Morey has been steadfast in his asking price for his number one trade asset, Ben Simmons. Many reports have surfaced where Philadelphia is reported to be asking for a lot in return.
Since the conclusion of the 2021 playoffs, the prevailing sentiment among fans and media alike has been that Simmons isn’t the player that can help Joel Embiid and the Sixers contend for a championship, at least not at this point in his career.
So why has Morey held onto Simmons for so long?
The answer is a simple one: the focus is on receiving the best possible package available, not just any combination of players and picks.
As much as fans don’t want to admit it, Simmons isn’t a terrible player. He is a 3x All-Star, 2x All-Defensive Player, 1x All-NBA Player. This is a player that should garner a large package, no doubt at least another All-Star caliber player.
In the regular season, Ben is a floor raiser and a plus for most NBA teams. It just so happens that his deficiencies hinder the ceiling of this current 76er team.
Two of the league’s best guards in Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal may be available in the coming months. With both players being incredible fits to your MVP caliber center in Joel Embiid, you would like to keep your best trade asset in the hopes that he can be the centerpiece of a trade for either.
Damian Lillard on one hand, is a top 10 NBA player who immediately can get you to the conference finals with Joel Embiid.
Beal, on the other hand, provides elite scoring and versatility as a two-guard and along with Joel Embiid would be a tough pairing for opposing defenses to stop.
As an NBA GM, it is Daryl Morey’s literal job to make the team better and to get the team in the best position to win the NBA Finals. When you look at potential trades that net players like Malcolm Brogdon or CJ McCollum, neither of those players move the needle THAT much.
They do not make you better than the Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, or Phoenix Suns. If the goal is to win a title, you do as much as you can to get the best players on your roster.
It is not impossible for Ben Simmons to be on the roster at the start of the season. Though he really isn’t the best player to maximize Embiid, he still provides something on the court in the form of defense and creating for others. I won’t hope for a 15-footer anytime soon (we all know it likely isn’t coming), but there’s always a chance.
If you trade Simmons and you end up a second-round exit yet again, was it REALLY worth it? You’d only be one step closer to Embiid asking for a trade to win a ring.
However, make no mistake about it, Ben Simmons should be traded. Having this situation linger on will only cause toxicity levels to rise in the locker room. Nobody wants to compile the on-court issues with off-court drama.
Though I’m no Woj or Shams, I expect Ben to be traded this offseason. What that trade will contain for Philadelphia, we have no idea. I just hope that for our sake, it won’t have us dragging through another second-round exit asking why we’re fans of this team.
Cover Image Credit: KATE FRESE