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Amidst conflicting goals, Ben Simmons and Daryl Morey wait to see who blinks first

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 30: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on during a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on October 30, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers President Daryl Morey is no stranger to the trade market. In his 13 seasons with the Houston Rockets, Morey oversaw a total of 77 trades. Unsurprisingly, this is the second-highest total in the league for that span.

He’s approaching the inevitable Ben Simmons trade through the lens of experience. He understands how detrimental it could be to sell an asset when its value is at its lowest. He also understands that it takes many elite players that fit well to win a championship. He’s made it clear; pairing Joel Embiid with Damian Lillard is the goal.

He’s willing to wait. Anything less is a failure.


Naturally, this line of thinking leads to a few roadblocks. The Portland Trailblazers have no incentive to trade Lillard unless he asks out. As of now, it appears as if Dame is content running it back in Portland. However, he has left the door open for a potential trade request down the line. Morey is nothing if not patient and is willing to wait until the trade deadline in hopes that Lillard changes his tune.


While Morey is happy to wait for the correct package, the same can’t be said for the player in question. Simmons’ camp has made it clear he wants out before the start of the season. The three-time All-Star has informed the team he won’t show up for training camp. Simmons’ dissatisfaction puts Philadelphia at risk of a return sub-par return.

Minnesota wants Ben Simmons

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - JANUARY 29: Malik Beasley #5 of the Minnesota Timberwolves defends against Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter of the game at Target Center on January 29, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Minnesota Timberwolves have been the team most active in trade talks for Simmons. It’s no secret that the Timberwolves desperately want a defensive anchor. According to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, the feeling is somewhat mutual.

Simmons has shown a willingness to play in Minnesota with his friends Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell. That said, it’s challenging to see a package from Minnesota that entices Philadelphia. It appears likely that they would need to involve a third team.

If Lillard does request a trade by the deadline, Portland would be the most logical suitor. A scenario with Philadelphia receiving Lillard, Minnesota receiving Simmons, and Portland receiving a combination of picks and young players appears likely.

Multiple teams inquiring

A few other teams have engaged in preliminary trade discussions about Simmons. The Sacramento Kings seem to be involved. However, they’re understandably reluctant to part ways with De’Aron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton. Additionally, the Golden State Warriors see a redundancy with Draymond Green on the roster.

The Toronto Raptors offer isn’t enticing enough for Morey. According to Chris Broussard, Simmons doesn’t want to wait and is willing to play for any of the other 29 teams in the league. All 29 of them would likely be interested in Simmons for the right price. But when the right price is a top ten player in the league, it isn’t easy to reach an agreement.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 30: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers dunks the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves on October 30, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

A game of chicken

The relationship is irreparable at this point. It’s bad enough that Rich Paul wants to take Tyrese Maxey out of Philadelphia along with Simmons. That is to say that Ben Simmons’ camp and Daryl Morey are waiting to see who blinks first. We know for a fact that one of two things will happen.

Either Morey will trade Simmons for a package that won’t move the needle. Or Simmons skips training camp and shows up to a team that he doesn’t want to be in and likewise doesn’t want him there. The chances of him sitting out games in protest remains small.


Nonetheless, the idea of stretching this out until the trade deadline or next offseason isn’t appealing for either party. In a world that exists for the benefit of the Philadelphia 76ers, Damian Lillard would request a trade tomorrow.

But as long as Philadelphia’s asking price remains as high as it is, Simmons and Morey will continue their staring contest. We’ll wait to see who blinks first.

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11 responses to “Amidst conflicting goals, Ben Simmons and Daryl Morey wait to see who blinks first”

  1. […] The Sixers are clearly open to the idea of trading Simmons, so it is possible that GM Elton Brand & Klutch Sports can iron out a deal to please both parties. But right now, it appears Simmons is prepared to play hardball by refusing to show up for training camp, but Philadelphia still wants an all-star in return for their all-star. Let's see who blinks first. […]

  2. […] to show up for training camp, but Philadelphia still wants an all-star in return for their all-star. Let’s see who blinks first. Related Topics:BarkleybullyingCharlesKlutchlashesleagueSports Up […]

  3. […] The Sixers are clearly open to the idea of trading Simmons, so it is possible that GM Elton Brand & Klutch Sports can iron out a deal to please both parties. But right now, it appears Simmons is prepared to play hardball by refusing to show up for training camp, but Philadelphia still wants an all-star in return for their all-star. Let’s see who blinks first. […]

  4. […] the 76ers President Daryl Morey has publicly tried to trade Simmons over the summer. Understandably, this has caused some dissatisfaction with Simmons and his camp. After not finding a […]

  5. […] has become a waiting game to see who blinks first. As that proceeds, Philadelphia has resorted to more drastic measures. With each game that Simmons […]

  6. […] followed was a series of outlandish trade negotiations between Darryl Morrey and many teams throughout the league. Rumors tied Simmons to the Timberwolves, Trailblazers, and […]

  7. […] followed was a series of outlandish trade negotiations between Darryl Morrey and many teams throughout the league. Rumors tied Simmons to the Timberwolves, Trailblazers, and […]

  8. […] exit, Simmons requested a trade from Philadelphia. The Sixers weighed offers from other teams but never pulled the trigger. In hopes of leaving the Sixers for a fresh start elsewhere, Simmons held out from training camp […]

  9. […] exit, Simmons requested a trade from Philadelphia. The Sixers weighed offers from other teams but never pulled the trigger. In hopes of leaving the Sixers for a fresh start elsewhere, Simmons held out from training camp […]

  10. […] exit, Simmons requested a trade from Philadelphia. The Sixers weighed offers from other teams but never pulled the trigger. In hopes of leaving the Sixers for a fresh start elsewhere, Simmons held out from training camp […]

  11. […] the Summer, many rumors swirled about that connected Damian Lillard to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Ben Simmons drama that overtook most of the NBA offseason supercharged the rumors that the teams could have made a […]

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