The Sixers have been open for business regarding a potential Ben Simmons trade for quite a while now. Throughout the offseason, the 76ers have fielded possible offers from several teams. However, they have yet to find a deal worth their time.
All summer long, it's been apparent that Daryl Morey was hopeful to land Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard. As Lillard questioned the Blazers' ability to craft a championship-contending team, the Sixers were ready to be at the front of the line with Ben Simmons for the Damian Lillard sweepstakes.
But Lillard has confirmed he's giving Portland another shot. That caused the Sixers to shift their interests elsewhere. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Sacramento Kings have all consistently been linked to the Simmons saga.
If Cleveland wanted to land Simmons, they would likely need to part ways with Collin Sexton or Darius Garland -- the latter being off the table, according to reports. For Minnesota, Anthony Edwards would probably intrigue Philly, but he's also unavailable.
The Kings could surely land Ben Simmons by making De'Aaron Fox available, but Sacramento won't move him. And unless Fox becomes available, the Sixers don't seem to have any interest in talking business with the Kings.
That's why one NBA Insider, Marc Stein, suggests that Daryl Morey is "surely hoping" for a slow start in Sacramento. As the Sixers will likely hold onto Ben Simmons into next season unless they are blown away with an offer beforehand, Morey and the front office will patiently wait and see which teams get off to slow starts.
If one or a few average to below-average teams get off to an underwhelming start to the season, they could make one of their stars available. In that case, the Sixers would have Ben Simmons available as a replacement for said organizations.
"Morey is surely hoping that a slow start for Portland or Sacramento could lead to the sort of early tension that prompts Damian Lillard to finally ask for a trade, or the sort of desperation that nudges the Kings into making De'Aaron Fox available. Morey frankly needs an assist of some sort."
Right now, there isn't another star available for the Sixers to swap Simmons with. While some have suggested the Sixers could call the Houston Rockets to acquire John Wall, the chances of the Sixers taking on an injury-prone 31-year-old guard with a two-year contract with over $90 million owed are slim.
All offseason long, Morey has played it patient and waited for opportunities to come about. He'll likely stick with the same game plan as the regular season inches closer.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.