When Ben Simmons became available for a trade last summer, it was unclear which party wanted to move on. Eventually, Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey confirmed that Simmons wanted out.
The Sixers considered offers from several teams, but none of the inquiring front offices were willing to meet Morey's asking price. As the Sixers kept Simmons' price tag high, the team continued to make it clear that they wanted the three-time All-Star back out on the floor for them.
However, Simmons teased a potential hold out and wasn't bluffing. The star guard skipped out on training camp and the preseason. While he made his return to the Philly market ahead of the regular-season opener, Simmons told the team he wasn't mentally prepared to return to the floor.
At this point, the Sixers are set to play their 50th game on Monday night. Ben Simmons has missed all 49 of them and is on pace to miss the Monday matchup as well. With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, Simmons hopes to have his wishes granted before it's too late.
The Sixers continue to field calls, but the ideal offers just aren't there. While you can never say never in the NBA when it comes to trades, it seems there is a higher chance the Sixers stick with Simmons for the rest of the year rather than cut their ties with him.
In that case, the Sixers would obviously hope that Simmons finally makes his return. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Sixers are still holding out hope that Simmons could change his mind post-trade deadline if he's still a member of the Sixers.
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"I think there's always still going to be the hope that they get past the trade deadline, and somehow they can convince Ben Simmons to return and play for this team. He has been adamant that that's not going to happen. I don't think it's an expectation that it's going to happen, but it is still a hope in Philly. Listen, I think they need to be prepared that he's going to sit out the season, and he needs to be prepared for the fact that they may not find a trade for him until at least the summer."
Throughout the Simmons saga, not much has changed. From the beginning, Daryl Morey has been adamant about holding onto Simmons unless there is a star available. Months later, none of the preferred targets for the Sixers are on the table.
As for Simmons, he said from the jump that he's finished playing for Philadelphia. As he hasn't been with a team for any games this season, Simmons is clearly committed to his plan, as are the 76ers.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.