Ben Simmons trade rumors: 76ers star would need weeks of conditioning to play; contract scaring off some teams

Things have been fairly quiet on Ben Simmons’ front in recent weeks, as COVID-19 dominated the news and Joel Embiid put the Philadelphia 76ers on his back. But as the February 10 trading deadline approaches, focus is beginning to shift once again to Simmons, who has yet to play this season.

Little has changed on key points: Simmons doesn’t want to play for the Sixers; The Sixers don’t care to trade him unless they can get an All-Star caliber player in return; The opposing teams were not yet ready to meet the Sixers’ rating.

However, there have been some updates on how things stand with Simmons ready to play and which teams might be interested. Here are the latest reports and rumors:

Simmons will need weeks of conditioning in order to play

While Simmons does not intend to play with the Sixers again, he does not want to retire. However, it doesn’t look like he’ll be ready to go immediately if he gets traded. Simmons will need at least “a few weeks” of conditioning and working out on the court before filing the suit again, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic.

All in all, you can understand why someone who hasn’t played in an NBA game since last June would need a chance to acclimatize to a new team. At the same time, there are a few things that don’t add up here, and this report will not add to the value of Simmons’ trade.

First and foremost, teams really have to consider many different questions when considering trading Simmons. Would his unique talents make it to our list? Will he ever become an effective play-off player? Does he really want to play for us, or will he try to work his way up again? “When will he be able to play?” To the list is not encouraging. There’s only eight weeks between the trade deadline and the end of the regular season, so he’ll miss a good chunk of the extended run. How does that help a team looking to add Simmons for a playoff boost?

Plus, it’s hard not to feel cynical on the mental health side of this situation. According to an AMIC report in November, Simmons’ camp did not mention any kind of mental health issue when they initially asked about Philadelphia. This concern was only raised later, after the Sixers began fining Simmons for not attending training camp. Notably, there is a clause in the CBA that prevents teams from fining players for failing to honor their contract “if such failure is caused by a player’s mental disability”.

Since then there have been various accusations from both sides that make it sound as if “mental health” has become a pawn. Simmons’ camp has confirmed it’s not mentally ready, and hasn’t offered any timetable for when that might change. However, all of a sudden, if he was traded to a different team, it would just be a matter of conditioning so he could play.

Some teams are afraid of Simmons’ contract

Top players asking for deals isn’t a new thing in the NBA, but most of the time a player asks near the end of his contract, and the team feels compelled to trade with them instead of losing it for nothing in free agency. On the other hand, Simmons tried to play in power with three years and $108.8 million left on his deal.

This is one of the main reasons why this saga has been going on for so long. The Sixers have the ability to wait until they get a deal they really like, and the exorbitant asking price is partly due to the fact that Simmons are signed until 2025. But according to Amick, some other teams have been freaking out over the years and money left in the Simmons deal:

But while doing the front office rounds to get a better understanding of Simmons’ studies happening in real time here, I stumbled upon this somewhat surprising feeling: the length (and size) of his contract, which the Sixers saw as the main leverage point and justification for the exorbitant asking price because the risk of free agency delays, It is actually a concern for some.

Most of the time, opposing teams will be eager to trade for a player who has been locked in for a long time. With Simmons, it’s understandable that some teams don’t feel that way. First of all, you have to give up a huge distance to get it. Then you will dedicate a good portion of your hat space to someone who has not proven to be one of the best players on the championship team. Plus, there’s the fact that he’s already tried to make his way out of one city, and he could do the same with your team in the future.

Timberwolves are waiting to see what happens

Despite all the reasonable questions and concerns about Simmons, there are still teams interested – at the right price. Veteran NBA correspondent Mark Stein noted earlier this week that the Atlanta Hawks are a team to watch given their disappointing start and John Collins’ displeasure.

Another team to watch is the Minnesota Timberwolves. They’ve always had an interest in Simmons, and it’s worth noting that Amick reports that they are currently holding off on all other potential moves until they see what’s going on with him. Any potential trade between Simmons and Minnesota would likely require a third team to be involved, however, given that the Wolves wouldn’t give up on Karl-Anthony Towns or Anthony Edwards.

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