After Ben Simmons’ poor second-round playoff performance against the Atlanta Hawks, his coach Doc Rivers and star teammate threw him under the bus. Joel Embiid specifically pointed to the moment in which he passed up a dunk to pass to teammate Mathisse Thybulle as the reason they lost game 7. Understandably, Simmons was upset that he is receiving all the blame for losing in a team game.
Simmons has informed Philadelphia 76ers that he will no longer be reporting to training camp. He has stated that he only wants to go to one of three California teams, the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, or the Los Angeles Lakers.
While Simmons and Philadelphia have basically tanked his trade value, first by blaming him for the team’s loss, and then, with Simmons refusing to go anywhere but three teams. Philadelphia GM Daryl Morey is in a bind. He is expecting to get a James Harden-like return for Ben Simmons, but no team is willing to offer that for a player who has not shown a commitment to improving his shooting and might not even show up if he is not traded to one of his preferred destinations.
The 76ers and Simmons are now in a standoff and with Morey trying to extract Harden esque value, it seems less likely by the day that Morey will find his demands being met.
The Golden State Warriors laughed at Morey’s outrageous demands. They tried to get the Warriors two lottery draft picks for this year and more draft picks in the future. The Warriors are adamant that they will not sacrifice their future just to acquire Simmons. Although Simmons’ ability would probably fit in the best on the Warriors, owner Joe Lacob and GM Bob Myers will not be held ransom just to acquire a disgruntled player.
The Sacramento Kings were rumored to be interested but with Simmons saying he would not show up to the team, Sacramento GM Monte McNair is unwilling to give up any of his young players who are committed to Sacramento. Both De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton have expressed their joy and being part of the building process in Sacramento. While the Kings have not made the playoffs in 15 years, they have a very supportive positive fan base and both Fox and Halliburton are quite happy to try and turn around the Kings.
It is highly doubtful that GM Monte McNair will give up on one of these young players for a player who might not even show up to the team, and whose interest seemed more aligned with Hollywood rather than turning around a rebuilding team in a small market. Sam Amick of The Athletic reported that the Kings and the Sixers have not talked for a month, as the Sixers would want Fox or Haliburton and Monte McNair is adamant that that will not happen.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are another team on a playoff drought that would like to acquire Ben Simmons. Minnesota GM Gersans Rosas would like to acquire Simmons as Simmons is the clearest path for Minnesota to end their playoff drought. But like Sacramento and Golden State, Rosas does not want to give up one of his core players of D’Angelo Russell or Anthony Edwards in order to acquire Simmons, whose preference for the big city lifestyle might force him to hold out of Minnesota.
Still, after the season starts and Simmons is holding out, Minnesota seems the most likely destination as they seem in the most desperate to acquire a piece that can get them into the playoffs this year.
Minnesota would be the team most likely to part with productive players and multiple draft pics to acquire Simmons.
I think Morey is overplaying his hand. Simmons does not have the trade value that Morey believes and this will be an issue with the team. I don’t think the team will trade for Simmons right away and will try to use the hold out as leverage to negotiate a better deal for Simmons. Simmons will most likely hold out and get traded to Minnesota at some point during the season, when Philadelphia realizes he is serious about not returning to their team.
NBA Pick: Ben Simmons to be traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves +275 at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.