It's almost 2022, and the Ben Simmons saga in Philadelphia is still ongoing, as Daryl Morey remains adamant in finding the perfect deal in exchange for the former number one pick. In the meantime, Philadelphia continues to try and mitigate the gaps left in Simmons' absence. In the process, they went from the best team in the East last year to sixth at this point in the season. One player looking to assume much of Simmons' role is young guard Tyrese Maxey.
Joel Embiid praises Tyrese Maxey
Maxey may not be 6'10 like Simmons, but what he lacks in size, he makes up for in tenacity and aggression on the basketball court. Tyrese is not afraid to play his game, but when you're playing with a superstar that controls pace as much as Joel Embiid does, there will be some nights where you watch him take over and forget about your game. Of course, Embiid knows that it makes life easier for him when his teammates step up. So, he's trying to give them all the confidence they need these days.
You see what happens when you shoot the freakin three? Come on man, shoot the 3… you were great… That's how you respond to criticism!
Has Embiid given up on Simmons?
Now, was this really a way to get Maxey's confidence up? Or is Embiid speaking to the Sixers' supposed starting point guard, Ben Simmons? It could have been a little bit of both, but the statement from Embiid makes at least one thing clear -- the respect for Ben Simmons is totally gone, and the need to move Ben is more apparent than ever.
The guy isn't even playing, and his teammates are taking shots at him during press conferences, so if there was any hope of Simmons coming back to Philly, you can kiss those hopes goodbye. From the time Embiid threw that jab, the Simmons situation has become a ticking time bomb, and with each minute that passes, his value gets lower and lower.
If Embiid is really serious about moving the team forward, these shots should be followed by him encouraging the front office to take action so that the players who want to be in Philly are the only ones on the roster.