Almost every day, Philadelphia hears from Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers. As Rivers is obligated to speak to the media before and after every game and sometimes on off days following practice, the head coach has addressed the Ben Simmons saga so often that he doesn't even have much to say about it anymore.
Meanwhile, Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey and the General Manager Elton Brand haven't spoken publicly recently. And they are the ones steering the ship on the Sixers' end. The last time Morey spoke on the situation, it was through a local radio interview back in the fall before the regular season started.
That's when Morey mentioned that "this thing," meaning the Simmons saga, could take years to be resolved as there wasn't a desirable trade anywhere in sight. While the Sixers President could've been very well bluffing, he's stuck to his plan of holding out for the best deal possible as Simmons remains a member of the 76ers more than halfway through the 2021-2022 NBA season without him even playing in a game.
With the NBA trade deadline quickly approaching, many expect the trade rumors regarding Simmons to heat up. While many in and out of the Sixers' organization might want a deal to get done sooner than later, Daryl Morey's latest interview through 97.5 The Fanatic on Thursday hinted that might not happen.
The Simmons Saga From Morey's Standpoint
1. Dialogue With Ben Simmons Remains Low
When Ben Simmons showed up for training camp in October, he hardly spoke to anybody. It wasn't until nearly a week after he showed up when Simmons finally addressed the team. While it seemed everything was taking a step in the right direction, nothing has changed too much from that point on.
"I can tell you for sure that those conversations have not progressed," Morey said in regards to his discussions with Simmons. "As anyone knows who's dealing with a difficult situation like we are, you don't make progress without first having a foundation of dialogue, and that's where we've gotten to, and we need to continue that, and hopefully, those get somewhere. We shall see."
2. More Teams Need to Get Involved
There isn't a lack of interest in Ben Simmons. Ever since the three-time All-Star went on the trade block, many teams have consistently reached out to check on the availability of the young star.
While some were doing their due diligence, others have grown into becoming serious suitors. However, those who want to get a deal done badly don't have what the Sixers want. Therefore, Morey makes it apparent that several teams will probably have to get involved in making something happen.
"It takes two sides, right? In this case, it's probably going to take three sides," Morey explained. "It's probably going to take multiple teams, and whenever you're involving a big trade with multiple teams, the odds of those deals happening are just low."
3. Embiid's Dominance Could Expand Philly's Wish List
Lately, there's been a lot of talk about the Sixers' mysterious top-30 wish list of players. If a player on there becomes available, then the Sixers wouldn't hesitate to move a Simmons-centric package to make it happen.
But these are big fish that Morey's going for. We're talking Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, James Harden -- guys that aren't on the trade block at this time. For a little while, the message has been that the Sixers aren't moving Simmons unless they receive somebody from that top-30 in return. However, Joel Embiid's dominance lately could change that thought process.
"I do think with how great Joel is, our line has moved down a little bit because Joel has lifted us into contention by his sheer will of greatness this year," Morey claimed. "That does push the number of deals that we would do more likely if that makes any sense. It's more likely than we can find ones that get us into that top few contention because of our great Joel is playing."
Lately, Embiid's entered himself back into the MVP conversation. While the four-time All-Star is on board with Morey's plans, it would be in the Sixers' best interest to resolve the Simmons situation sooner than later for Embiid's sake.
With Embiid and this current supporting cast, the Sixers are playoff contenders. Considering Embiid had to drop 50 points in order for the Sixers to defeat the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night, it's difficult to think that they are any better than that.
Trading for another All-Star would undoubtedly push the Sixers into the championship contender conversation. However, dealing for a good player outside of the top-30 that's an ideal fit around Embiid, and the supporting cast could also improve Philly's title odds. While that's not the direction Morey wants to go, it seems he could ease up on his asking price a bit, which could open the door for more trade opportunities as the deadline inches closer.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.