PHILADELPHIA — Ben Simmons‘ future with the Sixers remains up in the air with trade talks not gaining much traction as the team waits out the Damian Lillard situation in Portland. The Sixers feel they have time to parse things out and believe Simmons is the key to acquiring Lillard, though reports of the former No. 1 overall pick’s unhappiness continue to circulate.
Simmons remains in contact with the franchise, Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice reiterates, though the scribe cautions that not everything is kumbaya. Neubeck points out the soured relationship between Doc Rivers and Simmons as one of the hurdles in any sort of reconciliation.
The relationship between Simmons and Doc Rivers, it’s worth noting, suffered significant damage that some believe is irreparable, though the Sixers would tell you when pressed on this they believe things can be worked out and fences can be mended.
Then there’s the recent report by Kendrick Perkins stating that Simmons is considering holding out as a means to force a trade. It was met with eye rolls by some (perhaps rightfully so given the history of TV personalities making over-the-top takes), though Neubeck writes that people might have been a bit too “overzealous to discredit” the former Celtic center.
The Sixers have time, despite all the Simmons rumblings, though it doesn’t mean the situation won’t be awkward. While the team is parsing out offers, it won’t be forced into a bad deal. The offseason continues to be a major inflection point for both Simmons and the Philly franchise.