Details of Sixers’ meeting with Ben Simmons over trade request revealed
The Philadelphia 76ers and Star Guard Ben Simmons are currently in a stalemate when the 25-year-old 3-time All-Star officially petitioned to trade with the organization in late August. After a turbulent playoff run in 2021, the Stargarde needs a change of scenery.
The Sixers tried to comply with his request, but they also hoped that they could fix this situation and put him up a bit of the fences. Philadelphia built its team around Simmons and Joel Embiid and they hope they can pull off this project as they are extremely talented.
However, it seems that Simmons' confidence has gone and he needs to go elsewhere to rebuild it and continue to grow as a player. He has taken a lot of criticism for his poor playoff performance and it's hard to get through in a city like Philadelphia.
In a detailed report from ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, the Sixers met with Simmons and his agent Rich Paul to try to fix the fences and get Simmons to stay. They understand how talented he is right now, despite his obvious offensive struggles, and they still believe they can fix him.
Shelburne reports on the meeting that President Daryl Morey and Trainer Doc Rivers attended:
Morey went first and presented him with a detailed statistical case that showed how well Simmons and Embiid were together defensively - the top duo in the NBA since joining the league - and even argued that they weren't nearly as bad together offensively how Simmons might be feeling. Their combined offensive efficiency of 118.2 points per 100 possessions, Morey said, would have led the NBA among all teams.
Rivers then appealed to Simmons ’professionalism and competitiveness, reminding him that he had just signed a five-year, $ 170 million contract extension two years ago and the team hoped he would do it.
The overall message was clear: no matter what happened at the end of the disastrous playoff run last year, they wanted him back. They still saw him as a great player. They believed they could help him through the shooting and confidence issues that had derailed his career. And in all honesty, they said, there weren't any deals that made sense to them.
Morey and Rivers are right here. For all the criticism Simmons and Embiid continue to receive, they are one of the better duos in the NBA. They have had so much success on the floor on both sides and the two have continued to grow as players. The only thing that continues to hold Simmons back is the lack of a sweater or his refusal to take one with him.
See, Simmons can do jumpers. He simply refuses to shoot her. That seems to be a trust issue. For example, according to Shelburne, he took 230 shots over 10 feet in his rookie season and only 55 such shots in the 2020-21 season. It seems that maybe the noise has gotten too much for him and he has actually receded a little.
Shelburne added in her report:
When it was Simmons' turn, he focused on something else entirely.
He did not respond to quotes from Rivers or Embiid after the Sixers lost to the Hawks in Game 7. He didn't say he felt cheated when he was included in the Sixers' attempts to act for Harden last fall.
In his first three years in the league, the Sixers had such a bright spotlight and so much early success that he told them he didn't feel like he could make the mistakes other top draft picks were made. His growing pains were too public and momentous.
"I appreciate getting out of here," Simmons said at the meeting, according to multiple sources. "I understand how you feel. But I feel how I feel. And it's just time for a change."
It seems that perhaps a change of scenery to a smaller market, with less pressure on him to overcome these problems so quickly, would work wonders for a man who at 25 still has a lot to give and grow for the game the player everyone expects from him. Philadelphia public scrutiny can be tough for anyone and at the moment it seems that Simmons needs a fresh start.
This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!
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