Daryl Morey and the 76ers insist they won’t trade Ben Simmons, but you can never say that in the NBA

In the past few weeks, Ben Simmons has often been cited as a key player in a potential trade-off between the Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets – a contract that would also include James Harden, who has made it clear enough that he no longer wants to be a member of the rockets. Houston’s interest in Simmons makes sense, as they could be a lot worse than the dominant defender and Simmons ’three-night double threat if they were to lose the MVP their previous league. However, every time those rumors surfaced, the Sixers are abruptly shut down.

In recent sessions with members of the media, Doc Rivers has reaffirmed twice that the leaks and rumors are not coming from the Sixers side of things.

Daryl Morey, the new president of Sixers basketball activity, “liked” the Tweet above regarding the rumors, apparently showing a close affinity with Rivers ’views. Morey also said publicly that the Sixers would not trade Simmons.

“We do not trade Ben Simmons – it is an important part of our future,” Morey said in a statement earlier in the week. A team source also confirmed to CBS Sports that the Sixers have no plans to move on. forward from Simmons at the moment.So Simmons seems to be safe for now.But here ‘s the thing, conditions can change very quickly in the NBA, as we’ve seen over and over again over the years. last years.

Also, just because an agency says one thing, does not mean they will not do the exact opposite. Morey, in particular, has a history when it comes to saying one thing but doing something else. During the 2019 offseason, Morey traded a former Chris Paul guard to the Oklahoma City Thunder just days after he told Paul he would not be moved. This definitely touches Paul in the wrong way.

“My first thought? It surprised me,” Paul said of the trade after it happened. “In fact, I only spoke to Daryl.” [Morey] a day or two before the trade and he said he was not going to trade with me [to Oklahoma City]. That’s funny because that’s the warning that appears on everyone’s phone because no one knows that. But what the hell, I said it.

“Every situation is different,” said Paul. “But the team is going to do anything they want to do. They’ll tell you one thing and they’ll do something smooth … The GM there in Houston, it doesn’t matter to me. You know what I mean? He might tell me one thing but do something else. But you just understand that it is. ”

That trade was not a testament to Morey’s character, but it simply represented the reality of the basketball industry. Things change quickly in the league, and as a result, teams have to stay flexible and mobile. However, if Morey were willing to do that for a player like Chris Paul with the reputation he has built over his career, it is no exaggeration to think that he would be willing to do something similar to less. also make a certified player like Simmons. In addition, Morey’s relationship with Harden must be taken into account. Morey brought Harden to Houston in 2012, and the two enjoyed each other’s company very much. When Morey left the Rockets to join the Sixers earlier this year, he was very effective in praising Harden.

“An entire page could be dedicated directly to James. Not only did it change my life but it changed the game of basketball as well – and it still does – like almost no one before, ” Morey wrote in an advert he published in the Houston Chronicle. “The game is played differently for James’ sake, and on every playing field in the world, the next generation of talent is exploring and imitating his game. .. I can’t believe I can’t have another strategy session with James, “Morey wrote.” I enjoyed working together on how to get his amazing Hall of Fame players Dwight Howard , Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook to the Rockets. I root for James to compete in Houston. This is how this story should end. “

Morey clearly has strong feelings for Harden, and may be happy to continue their professional relationship. However, at the end of the day, Morey was brought to Philadelphia to help steer the Sixers to their first NBA title since 1983, and is well aware of the difficulties in building a title team around Harden . Despite all the success the Rockets had at the time of Harden and Morey combined, they were unable to advance out of the Western Conference, much less earning a title. While some of this can be blamed on injury issues (largely Chris Paul missing the Western Conference Finals in 2018), some of the blame must fall on Harden, who suffering through his fair share of postseason struggles.

Also, there is a valid argument to be made that moving forward, Simmons could be more valuable than Harden. There’s the age difference – Harden is 31, although Simmons is still just 24, and the contract comparison – Harden has just another two years under team control on his current contract, while Simmons is under team control for the next five seasons. Moreover, as good as he is, Harden seems to have already reached his peak as a player at this point, while Simmons’ extensive skill set is still developing. In two or three years he could be a much better player than he is today, and he is already a two-time All-Star player and All-Defender First Team player. Yes, Harden is a top scorer, but Simmons does almost everything else on the floor better.

It is for these reasons that a contract has not already been entered into. The Sixers, and Morey, are clearly pretty high on Simmons, as they should be. But again, that does not mean that things cannot change. The Sixers have long insisted that they want to see what a new coach can bring out Simmons and Joel Embiid as two, as Brett Brown was the only head coach to it has always existed before Rivers. For that reason, it seems almost certain that the Sixers will start the 2020-21 season with the two young All-Stars on the roster. The pressure for achievement will be there, however. If the Sixers start the hot season, all trade talks will be put on the back burner. However, if the team struggles out of the gate, there will be calls for change. Outside at first, but they could come in eventually as well. At that time, the Sixers’ stance on crafts could change.