Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons doesn’t like us, we don’t care

Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports /

Welp, it’s official; the Ben Simmons-era of Philadelphia 76ers basketball is over, at least according to the man himself.

Surprising? No. After being linked to about half of the teams in the NBA over the course of the offseason, it’s understandable that Simmons would feel unwanted and thus, want to leave town for greener pastures, but never has it been so tangible as it is today.

Why? Well, let’s take a look at a tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski, who effectively dropped the hammer on Philly fans the world over.

“Never play another game for the franchise,” huh? No training camp? No preseason? Bold strategy.

But wait, it gets worse – or better, depending on your take. On his Instagram story – the modern-day way players let slip their business – Simmons captured a quick video of John Wall, the player many have maddeningly linked him to via trade over the past few weeks.

*sigh* now Simmons gets a personality? Okay then.

So, with Philly’s options becoming even fewer barring a rare save from noted Process-hater Adam Silver, it looks like the final memory of Simmons in a Sixers uniform will be his passed up dunk in Game 7 and his otherwise meh demeanor about contributing heavily to a premature exit from the playoffs.

Or maybe not. Maybe the franchise could… or Joel Embiid could… Doc Rivers could always… you know what? No. If Ben Simmons doesn’t want to be a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, why the heck should fans care either?

The Philadelphia 76ers shouldn’t allow Ben Simmons to dictate their future.

When is the best time for the Philadelphia 76ers to trade Ben Simmons?

One could argue the best time was before the 2021 NBA Draft, as the team could have hand-selected players that fit their scheme with any picks they procured from a prospective partner. The same, conversely, could be said if Philly opted to trade picks alongside Simmons for a better-fitting player, as the ability to draft Jaden Springer is much more valuable than drafting Jaden Springer, as some teams may not like Jaden Springer.

Jaden Springer, got it?

Others have suggested that the draft wasn’t particularly relevant to Daryl Morey’s plans and that pre-free agency was the key time to get off of Simmons’ deal. That idea, too, made sense, as the Sixers could then tailor their free agency plans around their new-look roster. If, for example, the Sixers traded Simmons to the Golden State Warriors for Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole, they could use their mid-level exception on a viable point guard like Dennis Schröder or execute a sign-and-trade of Danny Green for a player like Eric Bledsoe.

That, too, would have been a sound strategy. While I like the additions of both Georges Niang and Andre Drummond, both feel like catch-all free agents with scheme flexibility, as opposed to hand-picked players tailor-made for Doc Rivers’ scheme or the way Morey likes his basketball teams composed.

The Sixers didn’t propose to go for that strategy either.

No, the franchise has remained firmly committed to their pursuit of a legitimate All-Star caliber star to pair up with Joel Embiid moving forward, even if it has alienated them from their second-best player, disappointed many a fan looking to get hyped by a new franchise player, and turned the beginning of the team’s regular season run into a glorified wait-and-see experiment.

Will this gamble pay off? Only time will tell, but needless to say, if Morey can take the heat, his strategy may actually pay off.

I mean, think about it; what if, say, the Minnesota Timberwolves come out of the gate flat? What if the franchise gets the direction from up top that they need to go all-in on winning and are allowed to parlay their future for a playoff run in the now? Could that push be enough to secure Morey the sort of overpay he’s been looking for plus a former All-Star in D’Angelo Russell? Or how about if the Golden State Warriors come out hot and think this may be the final opportunity to make a run with Steph, Draymond, and Klay? Would they be willing to ship out Wiggins, Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, and a slew of picks to get a deal done?

Who knows, maybe if the Portland Trail Blazers’ defensive rating is poor enough over the first month of the regular season, they’d be willing to break up the Damian Lillard-CJ McCollum bromance and finally deliver back to the Keystone state the pride of Lehigh University? As I’ve discussed ad nauseam, McCollum is a darn good player and would surely become an All-Star playing next to Embiid in the East.

At this point, the only way Simmons’ value is going to rise is good old fashion supply and demand, which his presence won’t affect one bit.

The only trade worse than Ben Simmons for John Wall. dark. Next

Playing in the City of Brotherly Love isn’t for everyone. Some players embrace the challenge while others quickly come to hate their new homes and desperately wait for a chance to play elsewhere. If Ben Simmons falls into that latter category, it’s hard to judge him too harshly. What Philadelphia 76ers fans have every right to judge him for, however, is demanding out of his four-year max contract before it even technically starts. That is a boo-able offense by any fanbase, especially the best booers in the business.