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A new development indicates a Ben Simmons trade is nowhere near fruition: the asking price has gone up for the 76ers point guard, according to ESPN.
Every day, new rumors about the availability of Ben Simmons seem to crop up, but a Jan. 12 update holds more water than prior assumptions.
On Wednesday night, Simmons’ agent, Clutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, met with Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey and general manager Elton Brand. Over dinner, the parties discussed the future of the 25-year-old point guard, yet “the sides remain at a stalemate over the All-Star guard’s immediate future,” sources told ESPN.
Simmons is no closer to a return to the Wells Fargo Center hardwood, and the steep asking price for Simmons in 76ers’ trade negotiations is keeping any potential trades far from actualization.
While the restaurant meeting was described as “amicable and professional,” sources indicates that Morey emphasized that his team “won’t make a Simmons trade unless it believes the return gives it a chance to compete for a championship.”
Paul responded, telling the 76ers that “Simmons’ mental health hurdles continue to preclude him from a return to play with the team,” and Simmons’ desire to depart Philadelphia “remains in place,” sources said.
Ben Simmons trade looms in the distant future as 76ers up the asking price
As indispensable as Simmons once seemed, the 76ers are operating just fine without him.
The 76ers are 23-17, ranking fifth in the Eastern Conference. The difference-maker this season has been Sixers center Joel Embiid, whose absence is felt more greatly than Simmons’.
The 76ers were on a seven-game win streak before the Charlotte Hornets interrupted their rhythm on Wednesday, but a Philadelphia squad without two of its best assets heads into trouble as playoffs near.
If the 76ers can acquire a top-25 player for Simmons, the team would be better poised for a deeper playoff run, but unfortunately, that’s not how Philadelphia’s mindset is trending. If anything, the Sixers’ asking price for Simmons is “growing in price — not declining.”