The Ben Simmons saga turned completely on its side Tuesday afternoon as reports came out that the three-time All-Star no longer wants to remain in Philly. This is the first time all offseason the former number one pick has openly requested a trade.
Along with wanting out of Philly, it also came out that Simmons prefers to be sent to one of the California teams. Chris Broussard of FS1 recently expanded on that news, stating that the 25-year-old will play anywhere except the Sixers.
Based on everything that has come out in recent days, it's clear that Simmons' days in Philadelphia are numbered. His camp is now doing all they can to get a deal done before training camp kicks off.
Simmons formally requesting a trade hurts the Sixers' leverage in discussions but should make a deal surface faster. While he may have a shortlist of where he wants to go, Simmons doesn't hold much power over his fate while being locked up under contract for the next four seasons.
When Broussard stated that Simmons is willing to go anywhere, he name-dropped two teams in particular. Those being the Minnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors. Both teams have been reported to have 'expansive discussions' regarding Simmons earlier this offseason, so it's not that surprising they were some of the names that came about.
Daryl Morey's job gets harder and harder as each new tidbit of information comes out. He has done a great job of remaining patient in these trade talks, but the clock has begun to tick.
The Sixers feel their window to compete is right now. Joel Embiid has asserted himself among the upper echelon of NBA superstars, and the organization is focused on maximizing his prime. This unrepairable relationship with Simmons isn't something they want hanging over their heads as they enter the regular season.
Morey has one chance to get this right, and the weakened leverage complicates things even more. Now that teams know Simmons has no intentions of being a Sixer, it hurts the likelihood of a high-caliber player being put on the table.
There is still no telling how this all ends for Simmons and the Sixers, but it is safe to say we are approaching the end of this Summer-long saga.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.