The Philadelphia 76ers aren't exactly in the best position right now. After yet another abysmal playoff performance, the team is having to deal with a crisis within their own organization: the future of Ben Simmons.
Following their most recent playoff defeat, Ben checked out from the team, cutting off communication after telling them he wished to be traded.
And now, with no sign that Simmons will get traded anytime soon, tensions continue to rise.
According to ESPN analyst Jay Williams, Simmons' agent, Rich Paul, has made it clear that he and his client will do whatever it takes to get him out of Philly.
“This has been an ongoing issue within Philly,” Williams said on Bart & Hahn. “I talked to Rich Paul, and Rich Paul was the one who told me, ‘We want out. We want out. And we’ll go to whatever degree we have to go to in order to get out. We want to be anywhere but in Philadelphia.'”
So, there's no salvaging the situation with Ben, which sounds like it makes Philly's job easier. Instead of working hard to smooth things over, or having debates on whether or not to keep him, they know that a trade is inevitable.
One team source, however, highlighted one reason why this situation is a bit more complicated than it seems:
"There are a few deals you could say, we do this, and we'll gamble that sometime later, we'll take draft picks and turn it back into having [a title] chance. But why do that?...There's no reason to go get draft picks right now because you could just do it all at once. Why take the risk that you do that and you can't flip back out of it? It makes no sense with Joel in his prime."
The bottom line is, the Sixers are still in the business of competing for a title, and it hurts their chances if they trade Ben for young players and draft picks.
They need to make a win-now move, and it needs to happen soon before things get uglier than they already are.