Although the Philadelphia 76ers seemed willing to move Ben Simmons to the Houston Rockets last season in an attempt to land James Harden, Sixers' President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey isn't rushing to get Simmons out of town these days.
Harden was Morey's guy in Houston. So, the idea that he was willing to part ways with a multi-time All-Star for the former MVP made sense. However, now that Simmons is seeking a trade this time around, Morey isn't as eager to move the young guard.
The Sixers fielded offers for Simmons this past summer, but without another star player on the table, Morey and Philly's front office found no reason to move on from Simmons if they weren't getting better.
It's no secret the Sixers hold the leverage in the situation. As Simmons signed a max contract extension in 2019, the three-time All-Star is locked into Philly long-term. The 76ers don't have to rush to trade Simmons. Therefore, the All-Star is attempting to become a distraction by refusing to participate in drills during practice and earning suspensions to force Morey's hand.
How's that going for Simmons so far? Not so great it seems. Two days after Simmons was booted from practice, Daryl Morey participated in a radio interview on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia. When asked to weigh in on the Simmons saga, Morey was blunt and made it clear that the standoff isn't ending anytime soon.
“You’re going to think I’m kidding, I’m not, this could take four years," Morey said, according to Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice. "We’re in the prime of Joel (Embiid)'s career. This is not a day-to-day thing. Every day, we are going to expect Ben to be back here, or we trade him for a difference-maker.”
Right now, there aren't any difference-makers available for the Sixers. So, the chances of them moving Simmons are slim. Even though trading Simmons before things get too out of hand seems like the logical move -- Sixers players seem unbothered by his antics at the moment. Unless Embiid or another well-respected leader demanded the team to deal Simmons, it seems the Sixers roster will trust Morey's process and remain patient as well.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.