Tuesday’s report that Ben Simmons “no longer wants to be a Sixer and does not intend to report to training camp” shouldn’t come as much of a surprise and is merely the latest development in a long list of trade reports and rumors dating back to Philadelphia’s disappointing loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
If we’re being honest, the general scuttlebutt surrounding his long-term status in Philadelphia stretches back far beyond that, even predating the James Harden rumors at the start of last season.
Regardless, it can be difficult to keep the reports straight during the seemingly endless stream of news trickling out over the last several months.
Here is a timeline of all the news and reports related to Ben Simnons dating back to that early postseason exit.
Timeline of Ben Simmons trade reports
June 20, 2021 — The 76ers lose to the Hawks in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, bringing an end to their season.
June 21, 2021 — ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports that Simmons is “doubtful” to play for Australia in the Tokyo Olympics and will spend the offseason working on “skill development.”
June 24, 2021 — ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul met with 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey and general manager Elton Brand to “begin evaluating the next steps in Simmons’ Sixers career.” Wojnarowski adds that no trade request has been made and the 76ers are “committed to keeping Simmons as a central piece of their franchise.”
June 28, 2021 — Basketball Australia announces that Simmons has officially withdrawn from the Australian Olympic team.
July 13, 2021 — Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the 76ers have “opened up trade conversations” surrounding Simmons and have engaged with teams.
July 13, 2021 — Substack’s Marc Stein writes the 76ers have insisted that they will “not be rushed or pressured into trading Simmons.” The Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors are some of the “known suitors” for Simmons, per Stein.
July 28, 2021 — Ahead of the 2021 NBA Draft, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the 76ers “continue to canvass the league” for Simmons trades. Simmons and Paul are said to be “in step with a move elsewhere.”
Aug. 2, 2021 — David Aldridge of The Athletic reports that the 76ers are seeking a minimum of four future first-round picks and “an All-Star-level player in most (but not all) scenarios” in return for Simmons.
Aug. 17, 2021 — Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report reports that the “overwhelming sense among league insiders continues to be that Simmons, for now, is expected to remain a Sixer once training camp opens” unless Damian Lillard has a change of temperature in Portland.
Aug. 30, 2021 — Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the 76ers have not yet reached “the cusp of a deal” since opening up trade conversations around Simmons. Still, the expectation among rival executives remains that it’s a matter of when — not if — Simmons is traded, even though the 76ers have reportedly told teams they are comfortable bringing him back for the 2021-22 season. Charania mentions the Timberwolves and Raptors as teams the 76ers have “conducted expansive discussions with,” but neither team has made a proposal that has appealed the 76ers yet.
Aug. 31, 2021 — According to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Simmons has told Philadelphia that he “no longer wants to be a Sixer and does not intend to report to training camp.”