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Elton Brand makes definitive statement about trading Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons

Bucks, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid

What’s next for Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and the rest of the Philadelphia 76ers? After being swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs, Sixers general manager Elton Brand is now staring this question right in the face.

Has “The Process” worked? Injuries played role in Philly’s early exit from the postseason, to be sure, including one for Simmons. In light of the sweep, Brett Brown was relieved of his head coaching duties earlier this week. As a result, a lot of speculation is swirling as to whether or not the team will be kept together as it currently stands.

Brand was asked about his plans for the team’s future as part of an appearance with the media on Tuesday. Notably, the former NBA standout says he and his staff are not looking to trade Simmons or Embiid. Instead, he says the Sixers will look for a suitable player to complement the two stars:

“I’m not looking to trade Ben or Joel,” Brand said, via ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “I’m looking to complement them better.”

Brand also noted that he plans to have “clear, candid conversations” with Simmons and Embiid about what the roster will look like going forward:

Simmons and Embiid are under contract through 2023, so it seems Brand is looking for a way to keep them together. Simmons, who suffered a knee injury in the seeding games, has heard his name tossed about in trade rumors for quite a while.

It’s also worth noting that Al Horford, who signed a four-year deal with the Sixers over the summer, was not mentioned in Brand’s comments. And what about Tobias Harris, who signed a five-year, $180 million deal in July of 2019? Would he be a player that Brand and his constituents might consider dealing?

The Sixers have a lot on their plate right now, and they’ll likely be fielding a lot of calls from interested teams. Still, it sounds like Brand is looking to keep Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons together together.