Following a disappointing postseason, there was a sense that Simmons’ value around the NBA may have dipped. However, sources tell Charania that the 76ers’ asking price in their trade talks has been high.
“(They) want an All-Star-caliber player in return,” one source told The Athletic.
Simmons’ reluctance to shoot and his struggles at the free throw line in the second round of the playoffs played a part in the Sixers getting eliminated earlier than expected by Atlanta.
However, the former No. 1 overall pick has a strong NBA résumé, including three All-Star berths and a runner-up finish in this year’s Defensive Player of the Year voting. He’ll enter his age-25 season and is under contract for four more years — as Charania notes, that kind of team control is rare for a star player on the trade market. Leaguewide interest in Simmons continues to be “robust,” per The Athletic.
The Sixers have suggested both publicly and privately that they’re comfortable working with Simmons on his shot this offseason and bringing him back in the fall. While that may be posturing, the team’s high asking price in talks so far indicates that president of basketball operations Daryl Morey won’t look to sell off the three-time All-Star at a discount rate.
For what it’s worth, Charania says Simmons appears to be exhibiting a “renewed determination” to improve and expand his game this summer. Whether he’ll play his next game as a member of the Sixers or another franchise remains to be seen.