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After a few weeks of silence, we finally have a new update on the Ben Simmons saga. Trade talks involving the Philadelphia 76ers' All-Star guard have been gaining steam in recent days, and three-team deals are on the table, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe

Simmons has not played for the Sixers this season after requesting a trade and initially refusing to show up for training camp. He has since reported to Philadelphia but has told the team he does not feel mentally ready to play. The Sixers, who have been fining Simmons at various points throughout this process, have thus far refused any deals as they attempt to acquire what they feel would be a fair return.

Daryl Morey, the Sixers' president of basketball operations, has stated publicly that he won't feel any pressure to move Simmons and is willing to wait years, if necessary, to find the right deal. However, with Joel Embiid in the middle of his prime and putting up another spectacular season, the Sixers cannot afford to waste this year, especially with the top of the Eastern Conference within reach. It's one thing to say you'll let Simmons sit out all season to try and increase your leverage, it's another to actually let it happen. 

Another factor that could lead to a trade in the near future is that players who signed new contracts in free agency this summer will be eligible to be traded on Dec. 15. That's an additional 106 players who can be included in trades, or nearly 25 percent of the league. Not all of them will be on the move, obviously, but it shows how much more flexibility teams will have once that date arrives. 

None of this guarantees that Simmons will actually be dealt, but there is a clear incentive for the Sixers to get some sort of return that would help their team, and far more trade options will become available in the coming days. 

One specific note that's worth mentioning is that as it stands a trade sending Simmons to the Portland Trail Blazers -- one of the most widely discussed possibilities -- seems unlikely as a two-team deal. Per Wojnarowski, the Blazers have made it clear that Damian Lillard will not be traded. Meanwhile, the Sixers are not interested in acquiring CJ McCollum. As such it's very difficult to see how anything would get done unless a third team was involved.