The Athletic's Shams Charania reported about the 76ers making Ben Simmons available in trade talks for the Houston Rockets' superstar James Harden. He followed it up with Darel Morey's denial of the whole thing.
Morey's reaction goes along with everything he's been saying after Philadelphia emerged on Harden's list of preferred trade destinations. Including Simmons in a potential deal was never an option for the Sixers' president of basketball operations, as he made it clear he's willing to give their star duo of Simmons and Embiid "every last chance to click before trading one of them."
Daryl even catered the roster to their needs by getting off Al Horford‘s contract and bringing in 3-and-D guys in Danny Green and Terrance Ferguson. He then sent a second-round pick along with Josh Richardson to the Dallas Mavericks for Seth Curry - one of the best long-range shooters in the association - trying to provide as much spacing as possible around their two star players.
Both Morey's actions, as well as his words, lead to the conclusion the Sixers' star point guard isn't going anywhere, at least not until Daryl and Doc Rivers run the Simmons-Embiid experiment long enough. The only problem is, we've seen something similar happen when Morey was the GM for the Houston Rockets. Jusuf Nurkić also remembers it.
Last June, Daryl made the promise directly to Chris Paul that he wasn't going to trade him during the '19 offseason. A month later, Morey shipped his star point guard to Oklahoma, in exchange for former MVP Russell Westbrook.
I was shocked. Truth be told, I just talked to Daryl a couple days before the trade and he said he wasn’t going to trade me to Oklahoma City. That’s funny because that is going to be the alert that pops up on everybody’s phone because nobody knows that. But what the hell, I just said it.
Chris Paul, The Undefeated
"Morey declined comment on Paul, saying he was told he wouldn’t be traded to the Thunder, but sources close to the Rockets say Morey told Paul days before the trade there was a 'slim chance' he could be dealt to the Thunder and that message may have been misinterpreted," said Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.
Daryl's message about Ben Simmons' trade availability is clear. But so was his message regarding Chris Paul. We'll see how it'll play out. Just keep in mind, Morey's words aren't a guarantee for a status quo. At this point, nothing is off the table.