Ben Simmons still hasn't suited up for the Philadelphia 76ers this season, despite ending a stalemate that lasted the entire offseason in which the All-Star guard made it clear that he would prefer to be traded. Simmons reported late to Sixers' training camp prior to the season, but has told the team that he is not mentally ready to take the floor.
Whether Simmons is in the right space to play for the Sixers or not, it's unclear if he'll ever play another game for the team as a trade seems much more likely. Back in October, Philadelphia general manager Daryl Morey said the franchise is adamant on waiting for the right trade package to come along before they deal Simmons, something that could take awhile to actually materialize as there's been no serious traction on that front. However, there have been several new teams added to the Simmons sweepstakes, with the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks among those interested in the defensive-minded guard, per The Athletic's Shams Charania.
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The Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers are teams that also remain interested as the Sixers are eyeing multi-team trade options in an effort to get the best deal for Simmons. The asking price for the three-time All-Star reportedly remains the same: Philly wants an All-Star caliber player and/or several first-round draft picks in exchange for Simmons, but no one has met that requirement for the Sixers.
As Morey said in October, this is a situation that could take a long time as there aren't many teams right now currently equipped to match what the Sixers want. Damian Lillard, one previous target Philly has been interested in, isn't currently available as the Trail Blazers are making it clear to the league that they want to build around their star rather than ship him off. Bradley Beal in Washington was also a target of interest for Philadelphia, but the Wizards are playing good basketball to start the season with a 15-12 record, so the Beal trade rumors have been turned down to a low simmer.
But as more players become trade eligible on Wednesday, Dec. 15, and teams get further into the season and decide what direction they want to go in, we could see this situation pick up some steam. Hearing that there are more teams interested in making a deal is an indication that the process of trading Simmons is at least taking baby steps toward happening, but right now nothing has materialized.
Until then, the Sixers will have to keep carrying on without Simmons. So far, the team's gotten out to a 15-12 start, good for sixth in the Eastern Conference. Simmons' absence has certainly had an impact on Philadelphia from a playmaking and defensive standpoint, and it certainly doesn't help that Joel Embiid still isn't 100 percent from his bout with COVID-19. But the Sixers have played well enough to string together some wins and keep treading water, waiting until either Simmons decides to return to the court, or he's traded for players that could help this team right now.