Kwatinetz said that he and Ice Cube, the other Big3 co-…

Kwatinetz said that he and Ice Cube, the other Big3 co-founder and hip hop mogul, are “probably just a few days away” from finalizing various logistics to ensure the tournament is broadcast globally. That includes resuming talks with potential broadcast partners, calculating the show’s budget and the tournament’s rules and schedule. Kwatinetz said he has fielded interest “far in excess” for the potential 16 players. Former NBA players will mostly represent that field, but Kwatinetz said he wants to “include at least one or two of the best female players.” Part of that hinges on the WNBA schedule. It will hold a virtual draft on April 17 and said it remains on schedule with the beginning of training camp (April 26) and the season opener (May 15). The WNBA might change its itinerary, though, depending on if it is considered safe to resume business.

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Stefan Bondy: James Dolan and MSG has stepped up and are paying the events staff until May. They previously only guaranteed payments until April 5. Good job by Dolan.
None of the professional sports leagues have any certainty on when they can resume play. Not with the coronavirus outbreak growing by the day. That has not inhibited the Big3, however, from making plans for its fourth season, a pre-season tournament and even a reality show. The 3-on-3 basketball league partnered with media production company Endemal, which has produced the highly-rated reality show “Big Brother,” to create a quarantined reality show and a three-week pre-season tournament starting the first week of May. Big3 also plans to open its fourth season of its 12-team league on June 20 in Memphis. "We can’t control what happens with the virus. Nobody can control it," Big3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz told USA TODAY Sports. "If that has to be pushed back a week or two, that’s possible. But we feel pretty good about being able to be up and running in May."
Donald J. Trump: So much of the Lamestream Media is writing and broadcasting stories with facts that are made up and knowingly wrong. They are doing it by quoting unnamed sources that simply do not exist. These are very dangerous & corrupt people, who will do anything to win. NAME YOUR SOURCES! JR Smith: Man shut up! An do something! F------ clown.
Get Up: "Please take our mind away from what's happening currently in the world." @RealJayWilliams wants the NBA back, even if there are no fans in the arenas. Baron Davis: Somebody stick a plunger in his mouth. STFU bro. People getting really sick and people are dying. He should wake up and go play by himself. Tired of this s--- man.
The longtime NBA announcer and analyst joined her ESPN colleague Adrian Wojnarowski on his podcast, The Woj Pod, to share her journey, from symptoms to recovery, as the new coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the United States and the rest of the world. “I cannot begin to express to you the feeling of gratitude that I have for health,” she told Wojnarowski. “And I just want people to know, it’s important to social distance and to continue to function with all good practices of hand washing, wiping down surfaces, whatever your trusted medical professionals are telling you, please, please follow those.”
“That really was my primary symptom throughout, this extraordinary fatigue,” Burke said on The Woj Pod. “You know, I took an Aspirin that day, I felt better, I went about the normal business of trying to prep for the game, do the game.”
“You’re aware of the shortage of tests, and you have that moral dilemma as a person,” she said. “[But] obviously our job requirement is such that we are on airplanes where we hear people cough and sneeze. We are in incredibly close proximity. The month prior to that game on March 11 happened to be a particularly hectic one for me travel-wise. “I was not spending very much time in my apartment here in the Philly area. So, I just thought, I started to believe, even though my symptoms did not seem to line up with the typical symptoms, I believed, given the nature of my profession, the number of people I encounter, that I did in fact have exposure to the virus.”
Brad Stevens said when his Boston Celtics meet via conference call, basketball matters are not the top priority. “We’re like the rest of the world,″ the 43-year-old Celtics coach said during a conference call with the media Friday morning. “Basketball has taken a far back seat. I think it’s more important right now we’re a community of co-workers and a community of friends and people that care about each other that get on line and make sure we’re all doing OK. Everyone’s checking in every day individually. I just don’t think it’s appropriate right now to be hammering basketball with our guys.″
Marcus Smart is the lone member of the Celtics whose test came back positive, but according to Stevens, he has shown no symptoms. Smart announced he had the coronavirus on March 19. “I’m just happy that when he tested positive he continued to experience no symptoms and has felt great ever since,″ said Stevens. “We landed from Milwaukee 15 days ago now and he’s been feeling good. I’ve checked in with him as everybody else has very regularly. I’ve seen him on conference calls a few times.
Although George Hill no loner competes with the San Antonio Spurs anymore, the Milwaukee Bucks player is showing the Alamo City some love during the coronavirus pandemic. Hill, who was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2008 NBA draft, partnered with Tony Cain, the owner of Bush's Chicken, to provide meals to those on the front lines in the battle against the spread of the virus.
This week, Hill and Cain stopped by Baptist Health System to deliver about 100 meals of Bush's Chicken to the hospital's employees. In a Facebook post on Wednesday, the San Antonio hospital thanked the two for their "generous donation" and for "filling their hearts and tummies." Hill and Cain did the same for a San Antonio Police Department station, according to a Facebook post Friday from the San Antonio Police Association.
Los Angeles Sparks guard Sydney Wiese tested positive for the coronavirus after returning from playing overseas in Spain. She’s been in self-isolation at home in Phoenix since her return and is encouraging everyone to practice social distancing to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Anthony Davis tries to keep himself informed about the COVID-19 pandemic these days. When he gets vital information he tries to pass it along to family and friends. “I just saw yesterday the United States became number one in cases,” the Lakers’ All-Star forward said by phone on Friday. “It’s kind of just getting out of hand. I’m trying to stay as safe as possible, doing what our team doctors told us and just trying to have a good spirit about everything and tell the people I can reach out to, to stay safe. Obviously it’s a tragedy and devastating. There’s a sadness of what’s going on with our players around the league, our players families and everyone around the world.
The NBA suspended play indefinitely on March 11 after Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 just before his Utah Jazz were set to play the Oklahoma City Thunder. Days later the Brooklyn Nets announced four players tested positive — they had played the Lakers on March 10. “I knew right away we would probably get tested,” Davis said. “It’s kind of tricky because some guys, you feel fine and you could have it, asymptomatic. And some guys you have all the symptoms. I felt fine and I felt great. I still do. [At the time] I was like that doesn’t mean I don’t have it. We all showed up and took the test. It was fine.”
While Davis tries to pass along information he’s given by team doctors to his family and friends, it goes both ways. Davis’ mother and her sisters, who both work in healthcare, keep him abreast about their conditions. One of his aunts had to be sent home from work recently after an exposure to COVID-19. Otherwise, Davis’ days are spent trying to figure out how to fill them. Workouts at home involve mostly weight training. He also has a half court at the home where he is now, and a full court at his other Los Angeles-area home, where he can do individual works. He spends time with family. He stays in touch with his teammates.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Steve + Connie Ballmer, through the Ballmer Group, have pledged more than $25M to help Seattle, SE Michigan, LA w/ COVID-19 crisis. That includes $10M to Univ. of Washington Medicine’s Emergency Response Fund to speed up testing for COVID-19 vaccine, according to Ballmer Group.
Former NBA All-Star Marques Johnson gathered his family at his mother’s Los Angeles home to sing the 93-year-old happy birthday from a distance on March 25 amid a state-wide lockdown in California. Johnson and his family sang Happy Birthday from outside his mother’s house as she sat in the doorway and conducted the singalong.
ESPN NBA analyst Doris Burke has received a positive diagnosis for COVID-19 but says she is now symptom-free more than two weeks after her initial concerns of an illness. Burke addressed her diagnosis with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday's episode of The Woj Pod. She told Wojnarowski she was tested March 17 but did not find out until eight days later, on Wednesday, that she had a positive diagnosis.
Burke said she felt her first symptom March 11 -- the same day the NBA shut down play after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. Burke was working the Denver Nuggets-Dallas Mavericks game for ESPN, and she said she noticed feeling tired during lunch with her broadcast crew. "Man, I am so tired right now and my head is pounding," Burke recalled thinking. "And looking back, those were my symptoms. And we've heard so much about shortness of breath, fever, tightness in your chest, chills, body aches, etc. ... That really was my primary symptom throughout this was this extraordinary fatigue."
She said she is now symptom-free, telling Wojnarowski, "I'm so incredibly thankful to be feeling well." She said she continues to keep a safe distance from others but is glad to no longer be spending all her time limited to her bedroom.
Matt Thomas should be preparing for the homestretch to the NBA's regular-season right now. Instead, he's stuck at home, like the rest of the league's players and coaches. The Onalaska High School graduate's season is on hold because of the COVID-19 virus. "Just staying positive and just trying to make the most of it. It's crazy though," Thomas said during a phone interview Thursday.
Thomas said all the Raptors were tested and all came back negative for the virus. But due to the quarantine, Thomas hasn't been able to work out in a gym in more than two weeks. "Not shooting a basket or being in a gym, it's been, it's hard to remember. I would say 10 or 11 years old, I'd say 5th or 6th grade when I really started to have that passion and love for the game, I've never been one to take time off. Even after seasons."
New health guidelines have forced people -- including NBA players, strength and conditioning coaches and trainers -- into new work patterns. Players have been accustomed to working out at any hour at team facilities, with pristine basketball courts and state-of-the-art equipment, often with coaches and trainers. With the NBA now a week removed from closing those facilities, and all NBA employees strongly encouraged to self-quarantine, players, coaches and trainers face an unprecedented challenge: How do players work on their bodies and maintain their skills to return and play at the highest level on an undetermined date?
"The tough part is what you don't know," said Keith Jones, Houston Rockets senior vice president of basketball operations and a longtime athletic trainer. "You don't know how long the runway is going to be before you're full speed. A process that took 10 weeks [at the end of the offseason to ramp up to the regular season] might be compressed into 10 days. Getting their bodies conditioned to play again, we're going to need some time. "Nothing mimics NBA basketball except NBA basketball. Everybody's going to lose that conditioning."
Javair Gillett, Houston's director of athletic performance, emailed each Rockets player a detailed and customized program to follow -- including strength training, flexibility training and cardio. An in-house app, typically used for the offseason, houses videos demonstrating each of the exercises so players know how to do them properly and avoid injury. The Rockets also employed another customary offseason move, giving each player a duffel bag that included resistance bands, pulleys and an exercise ball. "We're trying to monitor," Jones said, "and make sure they do the most they can with what they have."
Stevens said he and the rest of the Celtics have continued to check in on Smart and that the player feels good. Stevens added that he was proud of Smart for announcing his positive test and spreading the word to people to be smart and self-isolate to try to slow the spread of the disease. "Obviously this thing spreads very quickly, and doesn't need as much contact as obviously you get when you're in the middle of a basketball game," Stevens said. "I'm just happy that when he tested positive he continued to experience no symptoms and has felt great ever since.
"We landed from Milwaukee 15 days ago now, and he's been feeling good. I've checked in with him as everybody else has, very regularly. I've seen him on conference calls a few times and he seems to be doing really well. "I'm proud of how he kinda took the initiative to tell people that he had it and that he felt good and that he got online and just continued to ask people to practice social distancing and self-isolation right now. It's a really unique, unsettling time for everyone."
That approach, though, may change if the current limitations created by the novel coronavirus are still in place when the 2020 NBA draft, presently set for June 25, arrives. As it stands, teams are preparing to make their player evaluations and picks based largely on assessments already made and the review of games already played. Not expected to be part of the equation this time are the elements that often result in draft boards changing in the weeks leading up to the draft: interviews and up-close observations provided at the draft combine, private workouts arranged by agents or post-workout dinners, tours of the team facility and physical examinations.
It's not as if the top-rated talent—prospects such as Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball and James Wiseman—won't still be among the first half-dozen players taken, but the exact order at the top, along with decisions made throughout the draft, could be based more on actual performance than perceived potential this year. "This is a basketball person's draft, based on actual basketball play," the front-office executive says. "The high-ranking decision-makers who have been working all year aren't going to miss a beat. It's going to expose the GMs who were flying around with their teams staying in Four Seasons rather than going [to scout] in Dayton, Ohio, and staying at the Courtyard Marriott. If there are no more data points coming in, they're screwed."
The same goes for Ball, who played a dozen games this winter in Australia's National Basketball League before a foot injury prompted him to return to the United States. His statistics were impressive—17.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists in 31.2 minutes per game—but again, NBA executives say they'd feel more comfortable selecting him if they could study him in person when he talks about the anticipated involvement of his father, LaVar Ball, who became persona non grata with the Lakers after they drafted one of his other sons, Lonzo, three years ago. "You're still going to investigate all that, but I'd want to meet with the kid and the dad, personally," an Eastern Conference general manager says. "The dad is such a wild card."
Augustin knew he wanted to help the people who were on the front lines fighting the coronavirus. So this week, he made a donation to Krewe of Red Beans that will provide roughly 2,200 meals for doctors, nurses and others who work at New Orleans hospitals in this time of crisis. “Some of those doctors and nurses go the whole day without eating,” Augustin said. “They’re using their time to save lives.”
Augustin contacted University Medical Center to figure out the best way to feed their employees. That’s how he got connected with Krewe of Red Beans, which is using crowd-sourced financial contributions to purchase meals from restaurants around the city to feed hospital workers. Devin De Wulf, the founder of Krewe of Red Beans, is married to a doctor who also works at University Medical Center. “Right now, the people who are fortunate and not living paycheck to paycheck, when you see somebody step up like that, it’s pretty awesome,” De Wulf said. “And it’s what we have to do collectively as a country right now because this thing is not going to be an easy battle.”
"As of today, Friday, March 27, all Utah Jazz players and staff have been cleared by the Utah Department of Health after completing their respective periods of isolation and quarantine following exposure to COVID-19. In accordance with CDC and NBA recommendations, all players and staff will continue to practice social distancing while limiting time outside of their homes to essential activities. The Utah Department of Health has determined that all Jazz players and staff, regardless of prior testing status, no longer pose a risk of infection to others "
Chris Grenham: Brad Stevens says "there's going to be a need for re-acclimation" before the NBA begins playing again. "It'll be interesting, and that's assuming we get back to playing."
Jay King: Brad Stevens said he’s gone for walks, but hasn’t been in his car other to move it into a new spot in 16 days. “My thoughts are with everybody who’s really facing this thing. You just feel so bad.” He set up a PowerPoint for his kids about the coronavirus and its impact.
Various ideas have been floated by players and executives. One is to consider using a sprawling casino property in Las Vegas, where everything could be held under one roof. Others have suggested playing in the Bahamas, where a ballroom could be converted into a playing court specifically for broadcast. There has even been talk of taking over a college campus in the Midwest, where reported cases of COVID-19 are lower for the moment. Whatever the location, it would be a place where teams could sleep, train, eat and, hopefully, be kept healthy enough to have confidence in resuming play -- maybe not to finish out the season but to at least get restarted.
The season was supposed to resume the first week of April, then it moved to April 15. Now the CBA restart has been delayed to late April or early May, sources said. That could mean a layoff of more than three months since the league shuttered. Teams called foreign players back this past week -- more than a dozen Americans, including Jeremy Lin and Lance Stephenson, have returned -- and had them enter quarantine for 14 days to ensure that they are healthy and cleared to play in time for a training camp.
With so much talk about NBA players giving back to unemployed staff at arenas across the country, Miami Heat player Jae Crowder is making sure the immense challenges small businesses are currently facing are not forgotten. One of Crowder’s recent investments is Boston-based custom slide sandal company ISlide. Despite having significant growth in its first seven years of business, ISlide has not escaped the business challenges that this unprecedented pandemic has created. ISlide is not alone in feeling the overall impact of decreased sales, reduced hours and layoffs, which for any growing company is likely its biggest competition to date. On top of Crowder’s initial corporate investment, this $15,000 will go directly to the ISlide workers who are affected during this time. “For me it’s about giving back to those that need it,” said Crowder. “I was a big fan of ISlide long before I was an investor, and to see the potential negative business impact from this outbreak compelled me to help in any way I could. Like many of my peers, it was a no-brainer for me.”
Emiliano Carchia: OFFICIAL: VTB United League has cancelled the remainder of 2019/20 season. There will be no champion of 2019/20 season due to absence of sports criteria
As COVID-19, the coronavirus, spreads across the U.S., the NBA is preparing for the possibility of playing a summer schedule for the first time in league history. There is resounding ownership support for finding a way to finish the season, NBA officials told, even if that means re-starting the season in late June, even if that pushes the Finals into September. Some estimates have the NBA losing as much as $1 billion in a lost season, an eye popping number team owners desperately want to bring down.
Mark Berman: Mike & Laurel D’Antoni donated $100K to the local COVID-19 Recovery Fund. Mike: “The city of Houston,everybody right now is in the same boat.We’re trying to help out where we can.When you go to war,u go to war.The whole community has to band together & do what we can do” #Rockets
Rafael Nadal and Pau Gasol have launched a campaign to encourage donations in the hope of raising 11 million euros ($12.1 million) to help Spain fight the coronavirus. The tennis and basketball stars said in videos posted on social media that they are supporting a Red Cross fundraising effort to help with the public health crisis.
When U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman asked both sides if they can complete the sharing of documents sought in discovery by June, Nike balked, citing the athletic footwear company’s closure of its campuses due to the coronavirus pandemic. “Right now, Nike is essentially shut down and they are not allowed to go into their offices,’’ Nike’s New York-based lawyer Tamar Duvdevani of the DLA Piper law firm told the court.
Stephen Curry went on Instagram Live on Thursday to talk about the coronavirus with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Nearly 50,000 viewers tuned in — including former President Barack Obama, pop star Justin Bieber, rapper Common and former teammates Andre Iguodala and Leandro Barbosa. More will likely watch the archived version. Either way, they will have witnessed something that does not usually match what they see on social media.
For nearly 28 minutes, Curry asked Fauci informed questions about COVID-19, testing and social distancing. Fauci gave precise answers to all of them. Fauci explained the difference between the flu and the coronavirus, which he considered "much more serious." Although young people are not as vulnerable to COVID-19, Fauci argued they should still follow social distancing rules because of the rare chance they could become ill and the likely chance they could pass the virus to someone older. Fauci predicted that large events, including the NBA season, will not take place until "the country as a whole is turning that corner."
"The Kevin McLemore foundation and I have been working to find ways to best support COVID-19 relief efforts and to direct our resources where we can make a difference. We have identified a critical shortage of N95 respirator masks," McLemore wrote on Tuesday. "My management and I have partnered with manufacturer C3 International who has stepped up to fill the critical void of N95 respirator masks."
Ainge, who was out scouting college tournaments in Las Vegas when the NCAA and NBA games were stopped, hasn’t been tested for the coronavirus. Actually, around the Celtics, just the players and a few support people have. But only Marcus Smart has tested positive, and all others are doing well and are practicing proper social distancing. “I feel great,” said Ainge, whose medical history includes two mild heart attacks — one in 2009 and another during last year’s playoffs. “I feel fine. There’s been no symptoms at all, so that’s good. And I haven’t had contact with anybody from our team since, like, March 1st or 2nd.”
Kentucky coach John Calipari, who coaches a group of NBA Draft picks every single year, says he expects that the date of the NBA Draft will move due to the coronavirus pandemic, and that players, therefore, should have more time to make decisions about entering the draft. As of now, the NBA Early Entry Eligibility Deadline is at 11:59 p.m. on April 26 and the Early Entry Entrant Withdrawal Deadline is at 5 p.m. on June 15. The Draft is slated for June 25 at Barclays Center.
There is no timetable on when teams will be able to have players in for individual workouts. And even when those workouts begin, what kind of shape will the players be in? “My worry is for guys,” Calipari said. “If they spend two months and don’t do anything and then try to go work out for an NBA team, it isn’t going to work out for them. There are no gyms, no health clubs, unless they have a gym in their house, none of them do. Unless they have a workout area in their home, none of them do, how are we doing this? So my worry about is more about that.”
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Wednesday he expects the NBA will resume play before fans are allowed back in arenas due to COVID-19 concerns. “We have to be very cautious, particularly as we try to come back,” Cuban said on CNBC’s “Markets in Turmoil” special. “I think at first though we’ll play a lot of games without fans and then figure it out as some of the available medicines ... become available, we’ll go from there.”
Cuban also said he believed it would be “feasible” to take the temperature of every fan who tried to enter a venue. A fever, along with a cough and shortness of breath, are among the most common symptoms of COVID-19.
“People need something to rally around right now. People need sports,” the billionaire entrepreneur said. “We need something to cheer for, something to get excited about and there’s nothing better than our sports teams to do it.” Cuban said he was just “guessing,” but believed “the NBA is going to try to come back as early as we can without spectators, just on TV and streaming, and just give people something to celebrate.”
In an interview Thursday afternoon with NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark, Sixers limited partner Michael Rubin said Fanatics hopes to produce a million masks and gowns for hospital and emergency healthcare workers over the next two months. Rubin is the founder and CEO of Fanatics, which is making the masks and gowns out of the same material used for MLB player jerseys and starting with available fabrics from Phillies and Yankees jerseys.
Rubin also commented on the Sixers having planned to institute salary reductions of up to 20 percent for full-time, salaried employees making at least $50,000. In a statement Tuesday, managing partner Josh Harris reversed course, saying all employees would be paid their full salaries and apologizing to staff and fans. “To me, if you don’t get something right, the biggest thing you need to do is recognize it and fix it," Rubin said. "Whether I’m involved or indirectly involved, I screw things up all the time. The most important thing is if you don’t get it right, you’ve gotta fix it immediately and I’m proud of the way the organization said, ‘You know what? We didn’t have it right and we’re going to get it right.'”
If the NBA does return, team executives told CNBC they favored Las Vegas as a possible location to conclude the season. And media experts agreed, adding the decision could help the NBA retain some of its revenue domestically and perhaps in China. An NBA spokesperson told CNBC the league has considered many “scenarios” but is not close to rolling out a plan. When asked if the NBA would pick up where it left off or jump into the postseason, Silver said he didn’t have “a good enough sense of how long a period this is going to be” to give a definite answer.
The only player or member of the travelling party who tested positive for COVID-19 was Christian Wood, who has "fully recovered," according to his agent. "He's fine, he's feeling good," Casey said. "I spoke to him numerous times during this whole ordeal. He was in good spirits. We talked about basketball and how he was doing." One thing that upset Wood was that his name surfaced publicly as having contracted the virus. Some players who tested positive revealed their prognosis on social media but it's otherwise confidential information. "He was concerned how his info was leaked out," Casey said.
James Edwards III: Casey: "The NBA was ahead of the curve. I think they set the tone for all of the sports." Mentioned suspending the season, distance with media, talking about games with no fans.
Speaking extensively for the first time publicly since the NBA announced it was suspending its season during the coronavirus pandemic, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James outlined some of the challenges facing the league as it hopes to get back to the court. "So what happens when a guy who is tested positive for corona and you're out there on the floor with him and it's a loose ball?" James said as a guest on the Road Trippin' Podcast hosted by former Cleveland Cavaliers teammates Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye and current Lakers studio host Allie Clifton.
James and the hosts also addressed the logistical concerns regarding what it would actually take to turn the lights back on for the league. When Jefferson, who also works as an ESPN NBA analyst, suggested that teams could be quarantined to a league-selected hotel for the duration of the postseason as a safety measure, James objected. "I ain't going for that s---," he said. "I'm not going for that."
Wes Goldberg: Steph Curry: “What’s the biggest piece of misinformation that has been out there?” Dr. Fauci: “I want people to realize how serious this is." Adds that sheltered-in-place is needed. “It’s not convenient to be locked inside, it's not convenient for you to not play basketball."
Storyline: Coronavirus
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September 21, 2021 | 3:53 pm EDT Update
September 21, 2021 | 1:36 pm EDT Update

Sixers not close to trading Ben Simmons

Complicating matters with that caveat of right now, of course, is the reality that the Sixers also do not appear close to a trade they are willing to go through with that gives Simmons his desired fresh start. More than two months after posting one of my Tuesday newsletter extravaganzas on Substack for the first time on July 13 — also a breakdown, on that occasion, of the latest on the Simmons front — Philadelphia looks no closer to a trade to bring an end to this stalemate.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 260 more rumors
Weeks of Philadelphia’s Simmons talks with various teams haven’t brought the Sixers to the brink of a deal, largely because Morey is the one faced with trying to get commensurate value for his All-Star and still asking for so much in return in his determination to recoup a trade package that, as one source put it, keeps Philadelphia in title contention. History, however, says that Philadelphia’s president of basketball operations shouldn’t count on getting a glittering package back when a deal finally materializes — his own history.
I reported Monday that the Sixers don’t expect Simmons to show and are resigned to try to keep working behind the scenes to try to convince him to reconsider that stance. After I published that, another source close to the situation told me: “Right now, I don’t see a scenario where Ben is back in Philly.” The source meant it with permanence. As in: Simmons’ career with the Sixers, to the source, is over.
I was told very clearly that the Sixers do not liken these circumstances to Al Horford’s last season in Oklahoma City or John Wall’s in Houston. As the start of training camp draws near, Philadelphia has shown zero interest to date in striking the sort of mutual agreement that Wall and the Rockets just hatched to shelve the former All-Star point guard.
Storyline: Ben Simmons Trade?
The Sixers have not lowered the bar on what they’re seeking in a Simmons trade — yet. Toronto, Minnesota, Cleveland, San Antonio and Sacramento — all of them, league sources say, have engaged with Philadelphia in Simmons trade talks. They’re also all bubble playoff teams at best based in markets not known for attracting free agents and surely love the idea of acquiring Simmons when the 25-year-old is locked into three guaranteed seasons on his contract after this one.