The Philadelphia 76ers are trying to figure out what's next for Ben Simmons. Before heading into the 2019-2020 NBA season, the Sixers showed a long-term commitment to the young guard as they inked him to a max contract.
After revamping the front office by shifting Elton Brand to second-in-command and adding Daryl Morey as the President of Basketball Operations, the Sixers' outlook on Simmons seems to have changed a bit.
Early on in the 2020-2021 season, Simmons was reportedly being offered up in a package to the Houston Rockets in exchange for the disgruntled James Harden. Although Simmons remained with the Sixers as the Rockets used Philly's offer as leverage against the Brooklyn Nets, the idea that Simmons was even on the table, to begin with, was significant since it was the first time the Sixers seemed willing to move on from him since they drafted him in 2016.
Following the Harden debacle, Simmons' name was left out of trade rumors for the remainder of the year. However, trade rumors are beginning to swirl once again as Simmons just wrapped up a rough performance in the seven-game series against the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the playoffs.
On Thursday, it was reported the Sixers' front office met with Simmons' agent Rich Paul while in Chicago at the NBA Draft Combine. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Paul and the Sixers are working to decide whether the veteran All-Star should continue to play in Philly or seek a new destination.
At this time, the Sixers reportedly remain committed to keeping Simmons on the team, and the veteran guard hasn't requested a trade, but ESPN's Stephen A. Smith isn't buying that notion.
"Let me tell y'all something, that's a damn lie," Smith said in regards to the reports of the Sixers' desire to keep Simmons on board. "That's a damn lie. It's just that they're not interested in getting trash back for him. You make a solid, bonafide offer, the Philadelphia 76ers are going to consider it."
As Daryl Morey said during his exit interview this week, the Sixers' front office is going to do whatever is best for the team. So, if an offer for Ben Simmons comes across Philly's desk, it makes sense for them to review it with seriousness as basketball is a business after all.
So far, there haven't been any serious suitors for Simmons made public just yet. However, Stephen A. Smith highlights the Golden State Warriors as a team to keep an eye on as the trade rumors heat up.
"I believe the Golden State Warriors are going to make a push for Ben Simmons," Smith continued. "So keep your ears tuned, stay tuned. It's possible Ben Simmons could end up in Golden State."
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.