The Philadelphia 76ers are working to get some resolution in the situation with All-Star PG Ben Simmons. The team has grown increasingly frustrated with Simmons’ lack of cooperation when it comes to where he is at mentally. Simmons told the team he isn’t mentally ready to return to the court. He had also been reluctant to provide who his mental health professionals are.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Simmons has provided the team with a list of his mental health professionals, which is a step in the right direction. Charania is also reporting that the Boston Celtics have shown interest in Simmons and a potential deal. Any trade involving Simmons to Boston would likely have to include All-Star G Jaylen Brown in return. Right now, Brown is sidelined with a hamstring injury and is expected to miss a few weeks. Perhaps we see a deal formulate once Brown is healthy.
The Sixers shouldn’t be in any rush to trade Simmons at this point. The team is 8-2 and in first place in the Eastern Conference entering play on Monday night. Philly has also been winning without Tobias Harris, who is in health and safety protocols. So really, the Sixers are playing with house money when it comes to a potential Simmons deal. Any type of deal should be beneficial once Simmons decides to return to the court and play. That may take a bit and all sides need to respect Simmons’ decision to focus on his mental health.
The Celtics, on the other hand, have not been great this season at 4-6. The team is struggling on the defensive end under new coach Ime Udoka. Brown is hurt. Jayson Tatum has regressed after looking like a perennial All-Star the past few seasons. The Celtics lack depth at guard and could use someone like Simmons to provide play-making ability and defensive tenacity.