Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey and general manager Elton Brand met with agent Rich Paul this week at the pre-draft combine in Chicago to begin discussing potential next steps for Ben Simmons, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
According to Wojnarowski, Paul spoke to the Sixers about whether it would make sense for the two sides to work together to find a trade for Simmons this offseason. However, Simmons’ camp has not made a trade request and discussions about his future are expected to continue in the next several weeks.
Sources tell Wojnarowski that the 76ers are committed to keeping Simmons for the long term. Given the way that the 24-year-old’s stock dipped during the postseason, that likely just means the team doesn’t want to move him for 50 cents on the dollar — I expect Morey and Brand would pull the trigger on a trade if they felt they were getting fair value.
For what it’s worth, Wojnarowski hears from sources that Simmons’ value on the trade market remains “significant,” despite his offensive struggles in the playoffs. Teams have been gauging Philadelphia’s interest in potential trade packages at the combine in Chicago this week, Woj adds.
Head coach Doc Rivers spoke after the Sixers’ season ended about the team’s plans to address Simmons’ offensive struggles and efforts to improve his shot this summer. Simmons and Rivers met this week to discuss that plan, according to Wojnarowski, who says the club is reluctant to seriously consider trading the former No. 1 overall pick without exhausting all options to improve his offense.
Simmons, who was the runner-up for the Defensive Player of the Year award and has been an All-Star in each of the last three seasons, still has four years and approximately $147MM left on his contract with Philadelphia.