The news that felt inevitable has finally come about. Shams Charania of The Athletic recently reported that the Sixers have begun trade conversations involving All-Star Ben Simmons.
Following another second-round exit in the postseason, the chatter of Simmons potentially being moved has been endless. Now the reality is starting to set in that Simmons and Joel Embiid have played their final game together.
Daryl Morey has always been known for making a big splash and will likely try to do so with a trade chip like Simmons in play. With that being said, the Sixers don't plan on trading him just for the sake of doing so.
Simmons' stock might have taken a hit following his performance in the postseason, but he is still a highly skilled player. Also, at 24-years-old, he is just getting ready to enter the prime years of his career. Teams will still have to put together a good package if they plan to acquire the former number one pick.
Since these rumors began to swirl, one thing has remained constant. The Sixers want an All-Star caliber player in return for Simmons. If Morey decides to move him, it will be a player that moves the needle for the Sixers.
Joel Embiid is at the top of his game right now. If not for injury, he likely would have won the MVP award last season. We have seen in the past how fast a big man's career can decline. The Sixers need to capitalize on Embiid's peak years. Trading Simmons for draft capital or role players makes little sense.
Damian Lillard is sure to be the player Morey has his sights set on. If he eventually decides he wants out of Portland, Morey will likely do whatever it takes to pair him alongside Embiid.
Landing an All-Star level player on the trade market is no small task, but if anyone can do it, it's Daryl Morey.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.