NBA free agency has been a mixed bag so far for the Philadelphia 76ers. They lost key pieces from this year's playoff roster in Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick, while keeping versatile wing Tobias Harris on a five-year max contract and adding big man Al Horford.
The losses of Butler and Redick likely indicate that the Sixers will look to build around Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid for the foreseeable future, and according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the team has already begun extension talks with Simmons. However, the developments of the last 24 hours indicate it may be smarter for Philly to entertain the possibility of moving the former Rookie of the Year.
The addition of Horford makes an already-crowded front-court even more so; this will seemingly relegate Simmons to play guard in a slower offense, and it will be more difficult than ever for him to overcome his shooting deficiencies.
Beyond that, the losses of Redick and Butler will create a serious absence of outside shooting ability on the team in an age where the 3-ball is king, and without shooters Simmons' ability as a drive-and-dish ball-handler is downgraded significantly.
The current structure of Philadelphia's roster simply isn't set up to fit Simmons' unique skill-set, making it difficult to justify giving him a max extension unless they believe he can develop at least a mid-range jumpshot. They could garner a great haul in the trade market for Simmons, a 22-year-old with fantastic athletic ability.
Despite his shortcomings, Simmons is a triple-double waiting to happen and is at least aware enough of the weaknesses in his game not to hurt the team by chucking up ill-advised shots (as evidenced by his 56 percent shooting last season.)
With all that in mind, Simmons would be a massively valuable trade asset. Dealing him would bring more talent and allow the 76ers much more financial flexibility to retain Embiid and add pieces that fit more cohesively with the roster GM Elton Brand has assembled.