Odd Blazers-76ers situation delaying Ben Simmons trade?
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons warms up before game seven of the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks at Wells Fargo Center. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

It appears to be all but a foregone conclusion that the Philadelphia 76ers are trading Ben Simmons.

Ever since the team’s embarrassing flameout in the postseason, due in no small part to the 25-year-old’s offensive deficiencies, the writing has been on the wall.

In fact, it seemed like such a done deal that Simmons was getting dealt that many have been surprised that it hasn’t happened yet.

This week, an answer emerged regarding why the process was dragging so slowly.

In a recent column, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report shined some additional light on the situation and why it is progressing at its current rate.

“There has not been an All-Star-caliber player made available that Morey and his staff have had strong interest in moving Simmons for,” Fischer wrote.

“Time is on Philadelphia’s side. The Sixers are not required to trade Simmons, although the overwhelming expectation around the league is that he will be moved before the 2021-22 season tips.

“That could occur in August; team executives are anxiously awaiting Damian Lillard’s return from the Tokyo Olympics, and a potential trade request that could occur if the All-Star guard doesn’t endorse Portland’s offseason roster adjustments. ‘I think Daryl is just waiting for the Dame situation to explode,’ said one team official.”

There are currently five very serious trade suitors out there for Simmons, but none offer the sort of talent that Portland can with Lillard.

As such, it makes sense that Philly would hold out and see if the Blazers ultimately change their minds on Lillard.

Of course, it’s also worth remembering that Lillard has a team he’d like to be traded to if things in Portland don’t work out, and it’s not the Sixers.

All in all, this is a very fluid situation. Circumstances can change rapidly. But with this new context, it’s now easier to understand why the Simmons trade is progressing so slowly.

This article first appeared on Game 7 and was syndicated with permission.

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