All offseason, the basketball community has waited for the answer to one question. What does the future hold for Ben Simmons?
Following the Sixers' Game 7 loss to the Hawks, many believed the former number one pick played his final game in Philadelphia. Despite Daryl Morey having trade discussions for Simmons throughout the offseason, he has still yet to be moved.
This entire situation has been unorthodox, to say the least. Typically when an All-Star player is looking for a change of scenery, it doesn't take long for a deal to surface. Even with several teams interested in acquiring the 25-year-old, it appears he might be heading into training camp as a member of the Sixers.
While the Ben Simmons saga differs from other situations during the 'player empowerment' era, Daryl Morey has done the right thing in remaining patient.
The Sixers are a team that is looking to compete for championships right now. Whatever they land in return for Simmons will drastically impact their chance to do so. Morey has one shot to get this right and continues to wait for the right deal to surface.
From the beginning, Morey has stood firm on the asking price for Simmons. Even with his struggles in the postseason, Simmons is an elite defender and playmaker who is just getting ready to enter the prime years of his career. Not to mention he is locked up under contract for the next four seasons.
If a team wants to have serious talks about a trade, they will need to put an All-Star caliber player on the table.
Morey is not going to trade Simmons just for the sake of doing so. Waiting for a deal that makes the Sixers better has always been the approach, and is the correct one, even if it leads to some uncomfortable situations in training camp.
Damian Lillard has been viewed as Morey's top prize this summer. When rumors first swirled of him potentially requesting a trade, the Sixers were among the listed frontrunners. As we know, Morey has built a reputation for swinging big deals.
While it looks like Lillard will be starting the season in Portland, his latest comments suggest the situation isn't perfect. Depending on how things play out in the opening weeks, we might finally see the Lillard sweepstakes go underway.
Selling low on Simmons doesn't get the Sixers any closer to being in the title hunt. Some fans might not like it, but this saga might carry on into the regular season.
It's still unclear when and how this situation will end, but remaining patient is the best route to walking away with a proper return.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.