Before the 2021 NBA Draft, many were focused on what the Philadelphia 76ers were going to do in the trade market. With the Sixers officially open for business and willing to field offers for Ben Simmons, many believed Thursday could be the night the Sixers move on from their former first-overall pick.
But that's not how everything went down. Sure, there were tons of rumors regarding outrageous trade packages the Sixers requested in exchange for the point guard ahead of the draft, but there never seemed to be any real traction throughout the day on Thursday.
Two long rounds came and went in the NBA Draft. The Sixers, who held two picks leading up to Thursday, acquired another on the morning of the big event. Although they added the 53rd overall pick to gain flexibility for a potential trade up or out, the Sixers made three selections with picks 28, 50, and 53. When the draft concluded, they had three new rookies and Ben Simmons still on the team.
As Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey addressed the media early on Friday morning following the conclusion of the draft, he was happy to hear several questions be draft-related to start his annual post-draft presser.
However, it wouldn't be long before he was asked about Ben Simmons and the offers they might've received for the three-time All-Star during the draft. Typically, Morey would field trade-related questions with a political response by mentioning the front office would make or not make any deal that's best for the team.
But the President of Basketball Ops didn't even want to entertain trade talks on Friday. “Frankly, I’m focused on the draft and the three guys excited to be here,” he responded. “We’re back in the office tomorrow with the staff and have a lot of important work to do on the roster going forward."
The Sixers' decision not to deal Simmons on Thursday was a smart one. While a breakup between Simmons and the Sixers seems inevitable, there's no reason for the Sixers to rush a deal as the offseason is just getting started.
It's been revealed many times the Sixers want an All-Star caliber player in return for Simmons. So far, they haven't received an offer that matches their requests. Until something truly worth considering comes across Morey's desk, Simmons will remain on Philly's roster. So, for the time being, Morey would rather focus on the players who are arriving -- not soon to be potentially leaving.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.