If the Philadelphia 76ers and Ben Simmons were a married couple, they’d be seven months into being ‘legally separated’ right now. A finalized divorce seems inevitable, but there is still no timetable for when that might actually happen.
Simmons, who still has three seasons remaining on his contract past this season worth $108 million, has definitely played a big part in this NBA drama story by not reporting to the team and refusing to let his teammates talk to him throughout this process, but general manager Daryl Morey and the 76ers aren’t free of blame either. At what point will enough be enough, though?
We've written about the rumors stating that Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic would like to alongside Simmons, and that Simmons apparently has Dallas on his shortlist of preferred destinations when he is eventually traded. We’ve also expressed how a trade of Simmons to Dallas might be in the ‘pipe-dream’ category given Philadelphia’s absurd asking price for Simmons. Even before Simmons left the team and raised some red flags, the asking price for him was already steep considering his offensive limitations.
At some point, Morey is going to have to cut his losses, at least to a certain extent, and move on from Simmons. But that 'point' might not be before this season's February 10 trade deadline. Even if the Mavs can't eventually get involved in the Ben Simmons sweepstakes, a resolution to that particular conflict could help Dallas in other ways, as overall trade activity this year has been stalled due to waiting on that first big domino to fall.
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Will the Simmons saga with the 76ers drag on another handful of months into the offseason, or will Morey finally realize that he's fighting a battle he can't win and do what needs to be done? We only have a little over one week to find out, and perhaps the Dallas and Philadelphia front offices can talk about things further when the 76ers meet the Mavs at American Airlines Center on February 4.