The Ben Simmons saga continues. It seems like Simmons has been trending for the past couple of months. Last year, Simmons was ridiculed for his terrible performance in the playoffs. After that, Simmons ghosted the team in a dramatic fashion. He spent the whole summer in Los Angeles, away from the team and ignoring any calls from anyone in the organization. He made it public that he wanted to be traded. This is nothing new. In fact, this has been sort of a trend as of late, referred to as “player empowerment.” The last player to practice player empowerment was Anthony Davis and he subsequently won a championship. What makes Simmons' situation different than the rest, however, is that General Manager of the Philadelphia 76ers Daryl Morey refused to trade him unless they get back an all-star player and young talent. No team has been willing to pay such a high price for someone who just came off a terrible playoff performance. Since then, the situation has gotten slightly better. Simmons has apologized and has since been in contact with the team. However, he is still refusing to play due to mental health concerns.
So now you’re asking, “Where do the Celtics come in?” Well, in a report by the Athletic, the Celtics have expressed interest in trading for Ben Simmons. Moray was asking for Jaylen Brown in return and the Celtics quickly refused: “Daryl Morey asked for Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Robert Williams and a protected first round pick…the Celtics hung up without saying any words”. Yet again, Morey fails to trade Ben Simmons because of his high asking price. Jaylen Brown has been their best player to start the season, so obviously they would decline a trade like this. Ben Simmons has stated that he wouldn’t actually mind playing in Boston, but looks like he never will if Morey does not lower the asking price for Simmons.
So, what now? Simmons is still sitting on the roster and will likely not be moved unless Morey lowers the price for Simmons. The 76ers, however, have actually been thriving this season without him. They are currently 8–4, even though Joel Embiid hasn’t been having an amazing season. Embiid has said, “The chemistry that we have is very different from the previous years…we’re complete. We’re on the same page”. Their success puts them in a position where they don’t need to rush to trade Simmons. I believe the 76ers will try to stall until Simmons is ready to play, so that teams can see how good he actually is or can be. Despite all the disrespect he has gotten as of late, he is still one of the best young players in the league. Even so, the 76ers probably won’t be getting a player of Jaylen Brown's caliber, but they might get some really solid players to pair alongside Joel Embiid.
The Celtics have said that they are no longer interested in Simmons, but it is fun to imagine a world where the Celtics did trade for Simmons without giving up Brown. I think Simmons would actually be a perfect fit alongside Brown and Jayson Tatum. Smart comments were made weeks ago about how Brown and Tatum are still learning to pass the ball, and Simmons is one of the best passers in the league. Just two years ago, people were calling Simmons “LeBron without a jump shot,” and it's like people haven't given up on him.