Report: People Around Ben Simmons Pushing for Return to Floor if he isn’t traded
As Thursday's 3 p.m. NBA trade deadline approaches, expectations remain that Ben Simmons will still be a part of the Sixers organization.
While there was a report on Friday that suggested the Sixers intend to make a play for Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden, no offer has been made to date. Instead Sixers President of Basketball Operations, Daryl Morey reached out to Nets GM Sean Marks, asked about Harden's availability and that's where the conversation ended, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne.
So what happens if Simmons isn't traded? Is there a chance that he could suit up for the Sixers this season and hope to be moved in the offseason?
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While many have suggested he would never suit up for the Sixers again, there are people around Simmons who have 'pushed him to retake the floor if he is not dealt', per Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.
Numerous figures affiliated with Simmons' representation insist he'll never dress for the franchise again, but there are people around Simmons who have recently pushed for the All-Star to retake the floor if he's not dealt, sources said.
One of the holdups in any potential deal seems to be which side has more leverage, the Sixers or Nets.
Philadelphia has player who clearly doesn't want to play for them, but does have 3-years remaining on his deal. Brooklyn has a player who is a free agent at the end of the season, with no guarantee that he will return to the Nets, who would risk losing him for nothing.
One name that will not be moved in any deal i'm told, per a league source, is Tyrese Maxey. I'm told the team has no interest in trading Maxey, making a deal for Harden more difficult, at least by Thursday's deadline.
Should be an interesting few days, but my guess is Simmons stays in Philly and the two sides work one a bigger sign-and-trade deal in the offseason.