Rich Paul talks Ben Simmons trade with Sixers
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons has taken a lot of flak over the last few weeks for his dismal performances in the playoffs for the Sixers. While the trade speculation continues, his agent Rich Paul has recently met with the Philly front office to discuss what could be the next step for the Aussie with the organization, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Paul met with president of basketball operations Daryl Morey and general manager Elton Brand at the pre-draft combine to begin evaluating the next steps in Simmons’ Sixers career, sources said.
Paul engaged the Sixers on whether it makes sense to work together to find a trade before the start of next season, but no request was made and the sides are expected to continue talking ahead of the July 29 NBA draft and August free agency, sources said. The 76ers are committed to keeping Ben Simmons as a central piece of their franchise, sources said.
Simmons was the focal point of the Sixers’ disappointing exit in the conference semifinals against the Hawks but not for the right reasons. His 34% clip from the free-throw line in the playoffs was the worst ever in NBA history while struggling to score at any consistent level throughout Philly’s hopeful title run.
There have also been rumors that Ben Simmons will attempt to switch shooting hands from left to right this offseason because he is ambidextrous. The 24-year-old is set to snub Australia for the Tokyo Olympics in order to improve his game ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
Clearly, the Sixers do seem committed to keeping him around. Doc Rivers came to Ben Simmons’ defense time and time again, which is certainly a sign that Philadelphia will work through these struggles with their point guard. The report from Wojnarowski also pointed out the trade value for Simmons is still high so if they did decide to move on from him, there would be no shortage of potential suitors.