The Philadelphia 76ers aren’t necessarily closer to trading disgruntled point guard Ben Simmons than they were at the start of the regular season.
Simmons, who has stepped away to focus on his mental health — stating that he wasn’t in the right headspace to play yet — is being investigated by the 76ers, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The organization is “testing the validity of Simmons’ pursuit of mental health assistance,” as they’ve become “increasingly irritated” with the lack of updates they’ve received from the 25-year-old.
Per Charania, Simmons has given the names of the mental health professionals that he’s working with, but dissatisfying levels of clarity have the organization on the verge of returning to their previous system of fining the All-Star for every team event he misses — ranging from workouts to games. This stems from Simmons being given permission to go outside the organization to find the help he needs, especially because the 76ers do not have a mental health doctor within its ranks.
The sooner the 76ers are able to deal Simmons, the quicker the drama evaporates from the organization. But president Daryl Morey continues to maintain a high asking price for the young star — which is the main reason why he still remains a member of the Sixers.
Still, there is some interest that seems to be brewing from around the league.
Charania reports that the Boston Celtics “have engaged” in talks with Philadelphia regarding Simmons. While those conversations are “fluid” there has been “no traction as of yet.”
Talks are a non-starter if the Celtics don’t involve All-Star swingman, Jaylen Brown.
The 25-year-old would certainly provide Morey with the top-tier talent that he’s looking for as Brown is averaging 25.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per game this season.
But in the midst of a 4-6 start, the Celtics could be toying with the idea of making some drastic changes to the roster, meaning Brown is a name Sixers fans should keep an eye on.