When the Philadelphia 76ers attempted to change Ben Simmons' mind regarding a return to the floor in Philly next season, Simmons made it clear that he still wanted to be traded despite the Sixers front office's failure to find a deal worth looking into.
Simmons mentioned he'd hold out from training camp, and he did. Preseason? Simmons didn't show up until the second-to-last game. Regular season? The three-time All-Star earned a suspension for the first game, then mentioned he was mentally unprepared to take the floor moving forward.
Now 39 games into the 2021-2022 season, Simmons has yet to show face on game night. In the 38 games he missed beyond his suspension, the Sixers labeled Simmons as out due to "personal reasons."
Not too long ago, Simmons and his camp reiterated the star's desire to get moved even though he's been around the team. Many believed the trade talks could finally heat up with the trade deadline a month away.
But ESPN's NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski leaves some doubt in that belief.
"There is no movement, and listen, we may be in this situation all the way until the draft. Right now, you look at Philadelphia and the kind of players available to them in a Ben Simmons trade, a Harrison Barnes in Sacramento, Domantas Sabonis, Indiana, and listen, John Collins in Atlanta, that's not going to move the needle at this point."
Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey's might've been slightly exaggerating when he said to buckle in because the Simmons saga could drag out for the next few years. But he wasn't necessarily joking.
As long as the 76ers aren't getting a home run offer in return for Simmons, Morey isn't trading away the three-time All-Star, who was the Defensive Player of the Year runner-up just a season ago.
Would it be ideal for the Sixers to move on from the situation before the deadline, so they don't have to worry about it as they embark on a playoff push? For sure. However, if there isn't a deal that makes them better right now, Morey seems willing to wait it out until the next offseason when more high-end prospects become available.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.