The Philadelphia 76ers' superstar duo of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons has had its fair share of criticism and questions surrounding the fit between the two young standouts in the past. However, for the most part, it worked. Embiid, who is 27, and Simmons, who is 25, have won a lot of games throughout the four years they've played together.
But at this point, Simmons wants a breakup. Ever since the Sixers dropped Game 7 in the second round of the playoffs last season, the three-time All-Star wanted a trade. The Sixers considered making it happen, but only if they got an All-Star caliber player in return.
At the time, Simmons' value was at an all-time low. Since the Sixers star had a forgettable seven-game series against the Atlanta Hawks, many executives around the league had to think twice about Simmons' actual value as that wasn't the first time the young star underwhelmed in the playoffs.
The 2021-2022 regular season would've been a good opportunity for Simmons to take the court with the Sixers to boost his value once again, but he's remained away from the team for the first 15 games of the regular season.
As Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey stands firm on a high asking price for Ben Simmons, trade talks remain paused as executives continue to watch the Simmons saga in Philly unfold. And according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, that's not a good thing considering Simmons had made it clear he wants out of Philly, and the team was doing just fine without him on the floor when Joel Embiid was healthy.
"When I talk to other executives around the league about the situation with the Sixers, nobody feels sorry for Daryl Morey around the league. They think his asking price is way too high coming off the playoffs. Teams know Ben Simmons doesn’t want to be there. I’ve heard this from some executives, too, that when Joel Embiid was healthy and before their recent losing streak, this team was performing well without him. Some executives said to me it further lowered the trade value for Ben."
Prior to their recent five-game skid, which didn't include Embiid as he's been in the health and safety protocol, the Sixers topped the Eastern Conference with an 8-2 record. During that run, Embiid played in all but one game, proving that the Sixers are still good even without their second superstar on the court.
While Simmons is certainly still a valuable player as he's a multi-time All-Star and a Defensive Player of the Year runner-up, there are still many question marks surrounding his game. And Philly's success with Embiid on the floor surrounded by a supporting cast full of shooters seems to have created more question marks surrounding Ben Simmons' overall value lately.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.