Within a Tuesday column on the Sixers‘ Ben Simmons dilemma, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today cited a person with knowledge of the situation who said there’s a rift between Simmons and star center Joel Embiid that had been “escalating” leading up to this summer. However, in a tweet published on Wednesday, Embiid pushed back on that claim.
“Stop using my name to push people’s agendas,” Embiid wrote. “I love and hate drama. I love playing with Ben. Stats don’t lie. He’s an amazing player and we all didn’t get the job done. It’s on me personally. I hope everyone is back cuz we know we’re good enough to win.”
In the wake of Tuesday’s report that Simmons has told the Sixers he wants to be traded and doesn’t plan to report to training camp, we’ve got several more Simmons-related items to pass along today. Let’s dive in…
- A trade sending Simmons to the Kings might be a long shot, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee, who hears that the Sixers would only be willing to consider a package that includes either De’Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton. As we detailed on Tuesday, Sacramento is unlikely to part with either player.
- Any interest the Warriors might have in Simmons is “conditional,” according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area, who suggests Golden State is hesitant to pair the three-time All-Star with Draymond Green, another strong defender who isn’t much of a scorer. Sources tell Poole that the Warriors are “divided” on the Simmons/Green fit, and that some people in the organization see potential in the pairing, while others believe having two non-shooters on the court would hamstring the offense too significantly. It’s also extremely unlikely that the team would move Green in a Simmons deal, Poole adds.
- Unlike other teams that have traded star players in recent years, such as the Pelicans with Anthony Davis or the Rockets with James Harden, the Sixers have no intention of landing in the lottery after trading Simmons, writes Derek Bodner of The Athletic, noting that Philadelphia finds itself in an unusual spot. New Orleans and Houston were willing to wait out ugly situations for months before trading their respective stars, and it will be interesting to see if the 76ers are willing to do the same with Simmons, who isn’t quite at the same level as a Davis or a Harden, Bodner observes.
- The time for “mutually beneficial maneuvering” seems to have passed for the Sixers and Simmons, per Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice, who says it’s now just a matter of seeing which side wins the stare-down.