Several NBA teams think Philadelphia 76ers aren’t bluffing about saving Ben Simmons for an offseason deal in hope of acquiring a superstar player. Reports around the league show that the Sixers won’t back down on their steep demands for Simmons, who has yet to make his debut with the team this season.
NBA reporter Marc Stein claims that the widespread belief around the league is that Daryl Morey is serious about keeping Simmons in the roster, even with the three-time All-Star’s unwillingness to play again for Philadelphia.
(via Sports Illustrated)
“If Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey finds a deal he likes for Ben Simmons in the next 13 days, he will surprise an overwhelming majority of his peers. I can’t find a team out there these days that believes Morey is bluffing about keeping Simmons past the deadline.”
Sacramento Kings were among the most interested teams in the Australian superstar the last few weeks. However, they have reportedly opted out of the Simmons sweepstakes due to Philadelphia’s high price, as reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Morey and the Sixers have long believed that the offseason could bring higher-profile players into the trade market for Simmons. The Sixers’ hopes he can sign a player like James Harden and Bradley Beal using Simmons’ value.
Joel Embiid is in the midst of an MVP-like season leading the 76ers to a 29-19 record, which is among the top in the tough Eastern Conference.
“If [fans] think we’re burning the season away without trading Ben, we’re not only burning this season away if we trade Ben away for something that makes everyone feel good, we’re also burning away all the other future seasons,” Morey said. “So in essence we’re burning way more by doing a marginal trade than if we are patient,” Morey said on NBC Philadelphia.