Daryl Morey hints at lowering 76ers’ Ben Simmons asking price
Could the Philadelphia 76ers be more willing to accept a slightly lower return for Ben Simmons?
76ers president Daryl Morey suggested Thursday that the team might be a bit more willing to accept a lesser player in trades, though extra draft picks would still be necessary. Morey told Mike Missanelli on 97.5 The Fanatic that Joel Embiid’s dominance was a motivating factor for the Sixers, and that a complementary piece that might pair well with Embiid could move the needle in trade talks.
“I think with how great Joel is, our line has moved down a little bit,” Morey said, via Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice. “Because Joel has lifted us to contention by his sheer will of greatness this year, that does the number of deals we would do more likely. It’s more likely that we can find ones that get us into the top few contention because of how great Joel is playing. So we are sitting right now at a better chance of a trade that actually helps Joel and the Sixers.
“[Before], we absolutely need to get an impact player, but there’s an impact player that has to be in the top 30 of the league. Because Joel is playing amazing and has lifted us into probably five percent plus title odds just on his play, now we might be able to do it with a top-40 player who’s a great fit. Or we could do it where we do a trade, it helps the team, it’s a better fit, and maybe our future opportunities are still open because we get some draft picks as part of it.”
This is not a huge shift from Morey, but it is a notable one. The Sixers have been remarkably stubborn on their asking price for Simmons, and no team has been willing to part with an established star in such a deal. Morey sounds like he’s admitting that may no longer be necessary, though Simmons will not come cheap.
Embiid is in incredible form right now. Morey is right that trying to take advantage of it would be silly, and the right Simmons trade could be a big part of that. Whether that comes along or not remains to be seen.
Photo: Jan 30, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) talks to fans before a game against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports