It’s safe to say that the 76ers are in no rush to trade Ben Simmons.
Ahead of Philadelphia’s home opener against Brooklyn on Friday, 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said on “The Mike Missanelli Show” that “people should buckle in” when discussing the situation with Simmons, adding that it could “take four years” to find a resolution.
Having signed a five-year max extension in 2019, Simmons has four years remaining on his current contract.
“This is gonna go a long time because our only task, my only job is to help us have the best chance to win the title,” Morey said. “Ben Simmons is a difference-maker, so we can get him back. He will help us win the title. If we can trade Ben Simmons for a difference-maker, we will do it. I think that’s best for everyone in this situation.”
MORE: Best potential destinations for Simmons
Morey: “You’re going to think I’m kidding, I’m not, this could take four years…we’re in the prime of Joel’s career…this is not a day to day [issue}]. Every day, we are going to expect Ben Simmons to be back here, or we trade him for a difference maker.”
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) October 21, 2021
Simmons was suspended for Philadelphia’s season-opening win over New Orleans for conduct detrimental to the team after he was kicked out of a practice because of a “refusal to participate in the next stage of the session.” It was then reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday that Simmons did not take part in a scheduled individual workout at the team’s practice facility, and he had described “back tightness” to members of the team’s staff, which he was “briefly treated” for.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Simmons will not play on Friday and is “not expected to play for an undetermined period of time.”
MORE: Simmons’ suspension, explained
The No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Simmons has career averages of 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game. He’s earned three All-Star selections, as well as two All-Defensive First Team selections.
Following Friday’s matchup with the Nets, the 76ers go on a two-game road trip against the Thunder (Oct. 24) and Knicks (Oct. 26).