Philadelphia 76ers superstar duo Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have had their fair share of criticism and questions regarding the fit between the two young stars in the past. However, for the most part it worked. Embiid, who is 27, and Simmons, who is 25, have won numerous games in the four years they have played together.
But at this point, Simmons wants a breakup. Since the Sixers dropped out of Game 7 in the second round of the playoffs last season, the three-time All-Star wanted a trade. The Sixers considered getting there, but only if they had an All-Star-caliber player in return.
At the time, Simmons’ value was at an all-time low. Since the Sixers star had a forgettable seven-game streak against the Atlanta Hawks, many league executives have had to think twice about Simmons’ true worth as it wasn’t the first time the young star was disappointed in the playoffs.
The 2021-22 regular season would have been a good opportunity for Simmons to play on the field with the Sixers to increase his value again, but he remained sidelined for the first 15 games of the regular season.
As Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey stands firm on a high asking price for Ben Simmons, trade talks remain on hold as executives continue to watch the Simmons saga in Philly unfold. And according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, that’s not a good thing given that Simmons had made it clear that he wanted to leave Philly, and the team were doing just fine without him on the floor when Joel Embiid was in good health.
“When I talk to other league leaders about the situation with the Sixers, no one feels sorry for Daryl Morey in the league. They think his asking price is way too high after the playoffs. The teams know Ben Simmons doesn’t want to be there. I’ve also heard from some leaders that when Joel Embiid was in good health and before his recent losing streak, this team worked well without him. Some leaders told me that it further reduced the commercial value of Ben. “
Prior to their recent five-game slippage, which did not include Embiid as he was in health and safety protocol, the Sixers led the Eastern Conference with an 8-2 record. During that run, Embiid has played in all but one game, proving the Sixers are still good even without their second superstar on the pitch.
While Simmons is certainly still a valuable player as he is a multiple-time All-Star and finalist for Defensive Player of the Year, there are still plenty of question marks surrounding his game. And Philly’s success with Embiid on the floor surrounded by ‘A supporting cast full of shooters seems to have created more question marks regarding Ben Simmons’ overall worth as of late.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.