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Ben Simmons rumor mill: Friday gossip corner

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2021 NBA Playoffs - Atlanta Hawks v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

It’s Friday, the end of a long Ben Simmons potential trade week. After flaming out against the Hawks, the Sixers find themselves the subject of infinite potential trades from fans and analysts. Some fans are reasonably frustrated with the Aussie Star, for his failures from the free-throw line during the playoffs in particular, and his overall lack of aggression offensively in the second round. After that heartbreaking game seven defeat, Joel Embiid, who is usually supportive publicly of Simmons (but will occasionally take the passive-aggressive post-game swipe) couldn’t contain his frustration. So does this mean the team needs to trade Simmons, even if that means “selling” from his career’s lowest value point? Some fans think so, and others have suggested heading into the season with him, albeit in a slightly different role, hopefully with newly developed skills and a reworked jumper.

Rumors, potential trades, gossip

Indiana Pacers v Washington Wizards - Play-In Tournament Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Earlier in the week, a Bleacher Report post suggested the Sixers trade Ben Simmons to the Indiana Pacers for Malcolm Brogdon and Jeremy Lamb.

Greg Swartz had this to say:

“Following his disastrous showing against the Atlanta Hawks, Simmons’ days in Philly should be numbered. The Sixers just can’t go through another playoff run with him, especially with Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris playing some of the best basketball of their careers.

Brogdon, 28, fits the timeline in Philadelphia perfectly. He averaged 21.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.9 assists and hit 38.8 percent of his three-pointers for the Pacers this season. Brogdon is also one of the NBA’s best free-throw shooters, leading the league in 2018-19 (92.8 percent) and would rank 12th in basketball history (88.7 percent) if he had enough attempts to qualify.”

And today, there was a tweet from Sports Director at Kron4News, Jason Dumas involving Indiana and Brogdon too:

If you wanted to take a “wait and see if it’s confirmed” approach to this type of communication I think that would be fair. On the other hand, if there is some truth to this, the value of the trade offer seems better than some might have expected.

For a trade that might have felt laughable for Philly just a matter of months ago to now seem like a pretty good thing is a whopping bummer. Morey isn’t typically the type of President to trade at any player’s nadir. But he has placed a rather healthy emphasis on keeping MVP candidates happy. Maybe a few of his values will compete with each other this summer.

Yesterday, the Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor wrote a little bit about the Sixers too, which our Harrison Grimm analyzed in that link above.

Here was what O’Connor had to say:

“There’s also Ben Simmons, the Sixers All-Star who spends nearly all of his off time in Los Angeles and would add a much-needed playmaking dimension to the Clippers. But regardless of the other pieces involved in a potential deal, would Leonard want to team up with Simmons after the latter’s disastrous postseason? Is that a deal the Sixers would want to make, when league sources say they’re also hoping for an opportunity to land Lillard?”

Simmons’ agent and Klutch CEO, Rich Paul has met with Daryl Morey and Elton Brand in Chicago to discuss his client’s future. The SixersBeat podcast featuring The Athletic’s Derek Bodner and Rich Hofmann speculated that Paul wanted that meeting to be made public in order to drum up some potential interest so that Simmons’ side might learn of any potential landing spots, and perhaps gain some say in where he winds up, if in fact a trade is in the cards. The Sixers have since publicly committed to Simmons as part of their core. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said they’re still committed to Simmons at this time. And that is a sentiment Morey backed up in his post-season presser, while acknowledging the team wasn’t good enough.

However, Morey also did the same before shopping Simmons to Houston in the James Harden deal. So the rumors will swirl. The chess match will unfold. And as always, little can be relied upon until the all-mighty Woj acknowledges it.

As for Simmons himself, he was spotted in London on a vacation with his girlfriend and has opted out of competing in the summer Olympics for his home continent of Oz. That is so he can focus on his skills development. We can probably bet Simmons has a bit more motivation to improve his free throw shooting this summer than in any summer prior, following his 15-45 performance in the second round that led to some fans chanting “trade Ben Simmons” after the game seven defeat.