Ben Simmons’ future in Philadelphia is being discussed by those deciding it.
Simmons agent, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, met with Sixers management in Chicago to talk about his future with the team, ESPN.com reported.
Paul spoke with 76ers’ president of basketball operations Daryl Morey and general manager Elton Brand at the NBA combine in Chicago about the possibility of a trade. No official trade request was made, but the two sides talked about many possibilities.
The trade talks come after Simmons had a horrendous postseason. The former No. 1 pick had a four-game stretch where he refused to shoot the ball in the fourth quarter. He also made playoff history when he shot 34.2% from the free-throw line, which is now the lowest in NBA history.
Despite the rumors, head coach Doc Rivers still thinks highly of Simmons. Rivers has created a plan for Simmons’ to regain his confidence.
“I think some of the stuff is obvious,” Rivers said earlier this week. “We’re not hiding that Ben has to become a better free-throw shooter, and a more confident free-throw shooter. If that happens, I really believe a lot of the other parts of his game will follow. I said that before the season started. The first thing I said was, ‘We got to get him to the line 10 times a night.’ So, we’ve got to put in work so he can get there. But if we can get him there, man, his game goes to a different level.”
The 24-year-old has years to work on his game and develop his potential. That potential will make the Sixers’ front office reluctant to trade Simmons, whose defensive ability and playmaking pushed his path to stardom. Sources told ESPN Morey is hesitant to break up the pair of Embiid and Simmons and hopes to continue “the process” started by his predecessors.
“We have a very strong group we believe in,” Morey said. “None of us can predict the future of what’s going to happen in any, in any place. We love what Ben brings, we love what Joel brings, we love what Tobias [Harris] brings. In terms of what’s next, we’re going to do what’s best for the 76ers to give us the best chance to win the championship with every single player on the roster.”
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