10:54am: A league source tells Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald (Twitter link) that the report of the Celtics discussing a trade for Simmons is “untrue.” This could be a matter of semantics — perhaps Boston checked in on Simmons, but isn’t actively engaged in discussions with Philadelphia.
For what it’s worth, Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link) says the Celtics are “absolutely not” trading Brown for Simmons.
9:36am: The Celtics have expressed interest in Ben Simmons and have engaged in discussions with the Sixers, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic. Charania describes those talks as “fluid, with no traction as of yet.”
According to Charania, any Simmons trade between Boston and Philadelphia would have to include Celtics wing Jaylen Brown.
Presumably, that condition is coming from the Sixers, since it’s hard to imagine the C’s are eager to part with a 25-year-old who is posting career highs in PPG (25.6 PPG), RPG (6.1), FG% (.493), and several other categories, despite some early-season chemistry issues. If Philadelphia asks for Brown, I imagine the Celtics would seek other assets in addition to Simmons, assuming they’d still be interested at all.
Daryl Morey‘s asking price for Simmons has remained very high for several months, so it’s perhaps not surprising that the Sixers haven’t yet come close to completing a deal. There’s a belief that the team might have more options after December 15, when more players signed this past offseason become trade-eligible.
Charania’s latest report includes a number of other details on the standoff between Simmons and the Sixers, including the fact that the 25-year-old has provided the team with the names of his mental health professionals, but hasn’t shared any details on his treatment beyond that. Simmons has turned down the resources and professionals Philadelphia has offered, and the club has been frustrated by the lack of information he has provided about his status.
[RELATED: Sixers Resume Fining Ben Simmons]
As Charania outlines, the 76ers aren’t seeking out specific details about Simmons’ sessions, but want to know more about his treatment process and a possible return timeline. It seems that Simmons’ camp and the NBPA disagree with the franchise about how much information the three-time All-Star is obligated to provide to the team.
The Sixers have reportedly resumed fining Simmons for missing games and other team activities, but one NBPA source tells Charania that as long as Simmons has given the team basic information about the mental health professionals he’s working with, the club shouldn’t have grounds to withhold his salary. An arbitration process may ultimately be necessary to sort out the financial details of the dispute.