The Ben Simmons trade sweepstakes don't seem to be close to the finish line. That's kind of a surprise, considering the Sixers have made the All-Star guard available for a trade a couple of months back.
There are numerous reasons why Simmons remains a member of the 76ers' roster. The first reason being Daryl Morey's asking price. As the Sixers are dangling a three-time All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year runner-up in front of interested teams, Morey wants to make sure he gets a haul for Simmons.
Morey wants a lot in return for Simmons -- but only if he can't get an All-Star caliber player. All offseason long, it's been rumored that Morey has had his sights set on two specific players in Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal and most notably Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard.
As training camp approaches, both Lillard and Beal seem content with their situations for the time being. However, Ben Simmons isn't in the same boat. At this point, Simmons wants to be traded by the Sixers as he has no plans of playing for them again.
While his trade request creates an awkward situation and leaves the Sixers in a tough position as they'll have to consider letting him go for less than what they anticipated, ESPN NBA Insider Brian Windhorst suggests Daryl Morey will likely continue to take his time with negotiations as it's "only responsible" to see how certain situations play out across the league at the start of the new year.
“I think a big thing for the Sixers fans to watch is the first week of October," Windhorst said on Sixers Daily With Jas Kang on the Liberty Ballers Network. "Bradley Beal becomes eligible to sign an extension... I think as the season starts, and he hasn’t extended, I think that it frames the transaction game for the upcoming season. People are going to be watching like a hawk trying to pry Bradley Beal out, and if he doesn’t extend, people are going to have their eyes on that and so if you’re the Sixers, unless somebody knocks you over with an offer, you’re probably waiting for that at the very least, just to see."
Originally, Daryl Morey's top target was Damian Lillard. As rumors suggested Lillard was close to requesting a trade, the Blazers star seems more than willing to give Portland another shot this season at this point.
While Bradley Beal made it clear he wants to try and make things work out in Washington, too, there is still always a chance he could have a change of heart at the beginning of the year if he doesn't buy into Washington's long-term plans.
If that becomes the case, you can guarantee the Sixers will be giving a call to the Wizards looking to trade Simmons in a package to D.C. in a trade to land Bradley Beal, who would offer tons of scoring to the Sixers' offense.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.