Ben Simmons and the 76ers may not be splitting after all.
With Simmons at the forefront of the 76ers failures in the playoffs for his hesitance to shoot late in games and poor free-throw shooting, some pegged the 24-year-old guard to be a trade chip this offseason.
Not so fast: According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, don’t expect a deal to happen. Woj reports that Simmons’ agent Rich Paul broached Philadelphia with a trade, but the 76ers are going to work through their issues, with Philadelpia “committed to keeping Simmons” moving forward:
Paul engaged the Sixers on whether it makes sense to work together to find a trade before the start of next season, but no request was made and the sides are expected to continue talking ahead of the July 29 NBA draft and August free agency, sources said. The 76ers are committed to keeping Simmons as a central piece of their franchise, sources said.
It’s important to note that Woj says that no official trade request was made and that the two sides are expected to continue talking in the coming months.
Simmons still has a hefty amount left on his contract: At four years and $147 million remaining, that’s a pretty decent chunk of change for any team to adopt heading into the future.
Simmons has drawn the ire of 76ers fans and players alike this playoff season, with the former No. 1 overall pick’s apparent lack of aggression on center stage in Philadelphia’s Game 7 loss to the Hawks in the conference semifinals. Philly teammate Joel Embiid seemed to take a shot at Simmons following the series loss.
The point guard, who has had issues shooting the ball since entering the league, was reportedly considering changing his dominant shooting hand from left to right this offseason. That’s a small red flag.
He averaged a career low 14.3 points per game in 2020-21, shooting 55 percent from the floor.
Right-handed, left-handed, it doesn’t matter. Early on, it looks like Simmons will be in a Sixers uniform come the 2021-22 season.