People hoping to see the 76ers move Ben Simmons before the Feb. 10 NBA trade deadline might be disappointed.
Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey was asked how likely it is for Simmons to be dealt before the deadline during a Thursday evening appearance on The Mike Missanelli Show on 97.5 The Fanatic.
“I think it’s less likely than likely,” Morey said. “But, you know, hopefully I’m wrong. Like, look, it won’t be from a lack of trying. We have a whole team [in the] front office. It’s all we do. We have no other job that matters. It’s all we are working on.”
The executive said none of the other 29 NBA teams wake up and say, “Today, how can I help the 76ers get better?”
Those squads are focused on making their teams better. So it could take a three-team deal to move Simmons before the deadline.
“Trades are not easy to construct in this league,” Morey said. “There’s a lot of risk aversion. There’s a lot of decision-makers that have to be hurdled. It’s very complex to put a deal together. And that always makes it less likely than likely to get a deal done.”
The Sacramento Kings are one of the teams interested in acquiring the three-time All-Star. A source told The Inquirer that Sacramento has considered sending Buddy Hield, Tyrese Haliburton, Harrison Barnes, and two first-round picks to the Sixers for Simmons, Tobias Harris, and Matisse Thybulle. The source said the Sixers aren’t interested in that package. Another source added Thybulle is close to being untouchable.
Asked by Missanelli about that potential deal, Morey declined to give specifics.
“I can tell you for sure there are deals with the Sacramento Kings that I think would work,” he said. “Whether those deals will ever happen, I have no idea. Are they just trade deals with the Kings? Probably not. Is it multiple teams? Probably. But sure, there are deals that are possible that will go over our line.”
The Inquirer reported a third team could be used to acquire Harris in a multi-team deal.
The Sixers’ position that they’re not going to trade Simmons just to make a trade has been consistent. They want an All-Star-caliber player in return who will help them win a championship.
Ideally, that person will be someone who can help Joel Embiid, who is playing at a NBA MVP level.
Morey is looking to find a specific player who can address multiple things for the Sixers, including defense, rebounding, playmaking, and transition play.
“It’s really important that the player we add to Joel really wants to take our odds from wherever they are right now to materially higher,” he said. “It has to come back in an impact player.”
Simmons has yet to play this season after telling the Sixers in August that he wanted to be traded. A source confirmed that Simmons intends to sit out the remainder of the season if he’s not moved by the Feb. 10 trade deadline.
But some critics think the Sixers are only wasting one of Embiid’s prime seasons by holding onto Simmons and not accepting the best available option. Morey disagrees.
“If they think we’re burning the season away without trading Ben, we are not only burning this season away if we trade Ben for something that makes everyone feel good,” he said. “We are also burning away all the other future seasons, because we are burning away more a marginal trade than if we are patient.”