The Philadelphia 76ers and Ben Simmons have walked through uncharted territory for most of the NBA season. Simmons claims not to be mentally ready to play, and the Sixers simply refuse to pay him or let him leave.

Most GMs around the league would have taken some of the many offers they've gotten for Simmons' services. But Daryl Morey isn't like most GMs. He's as stubborn as they come and would rather see Simmons' deal run out than letting him go at a discount.

But regardless of how Morey or Doc Rivers feel about Simmons' situation, no one can deny that his playmaking and defense have been missed on the court. In fact, even Joel Embiid lauded him and talked about how he's got to take the ball up the court now.

Joel Embiid Admits The Sixers Miss Ben Simmons' Playmaking

“This year I have more freedom to be able to whether bring the ball up or pushing up in transition," Embiid said, per Talk Basket. "The previous year, we had someone that was so good in transition that you had to get the ball to him.” 


Sixers Want To Hold On To Simmons To Land James Harden

Morey has turned down multiple interesting offers for Simmons throughout the season and that's not likely to change any time soon. Per a recent report, his plan is to hold on to him and use him as a bargaining chip for James Harden in the summer:

(Transcript via Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic)

"But multiple sources, including people with direct knowledge of the team’s thinking and also from rival teams involved on the Simmons front, tell The Athletic that the 76ers are believed to prefer to wait in order to pursue Harden or another superstar in the offseason and thus want to save Simmons for that potential sign-and-trade rather than take what’s available on the current market.

Unless Philadelphia is blown away at the deadline by a team that significantly improves its current best offer, in other words, the standstill between Simmons and the Sixers will continue past the deadline. There’s belief that the offers currently available would be there in the offseason too, but what may not be, if a Simmons deal is completed now, is a shot at a star like Harden."

Several reports claim that Harden is open to relocating after this season and reuniting with his former GM in Philadelphia seems like a real possibility. The Nets, on the other hand, would land another All-Star caliber player next to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, so this move might not be as far-fetched as some think.