Morey in no rush to trade Simmons: 'This could be 4 years'
Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey isn't in a hurry to choose among the suitors for disgruntled star Ben Simmons and warned Thursday that the situation could carry on for the foreseeable future.
"You're going to think I'm kidding, I'm not, this could be four years," Morey said during a radio appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic, according to PhillyVoice's Kyle Neubeck. "The conditions I'm pointing out to you don't change. Unless Ben Simmons is traded for a difference-maker, we're in the prime of Joel (Embiid)'s career. We have to get back either Ben Simmons playing well for us, who helps us win the championship, or we have to get back a difference-maker for Ben Simmons. Or this could be four years from now, and we're still like, 'Hey, we took the best shot at it we could.'"
Morey also said that he won't trade Simmons for role players, per Neubeck. Players who signed contracts as free agents this offseason become eligible to be traded on Dec. 15, meaning any deal that involves moving star-level talent for Simmons may materialize after that date.
Simmons reported to the 76ers' training facility last Sunday after holding out through training camp and the preseason. Head coach Doc Rivers kicked him out of Tuesday's practice and the team suspended him for Wednesday's season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Upon returning to Philadelphia's practice facility Thursday, Simmons reportedly received treatment for a sore back but didn't participate in a scheduled individual workout after being medically cleared. He apparently won't play in Friday's home opener against the Brooklyn Nets and he isn't expected to play for an undetermined period.
Morey insists that keeping the star point forward on the roster rather than settling for a subpar trade return is what's best for the organization.
"I'm focused on winning the title," Morey said. "I'll go through mud, muck, over barbed wire, we all will. ... Whatever process, whatever pain, whatever hill we have to climb, whatever thing we have to deal with that helps the 76ers win the title, we're going to do it ... It's annoying to you, but I'm telling you it's not annoying to us. Never does it get me annoyed. It is a uniting factor right now."