Philadelphia 76ers: Why are Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons always being traded?

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(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Players that are perennial All-Stars are prized by NBA teams because they are, frankly, tough to come by. So how come the media is always floating that the Philadelphia 76ers should or will trade Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons?

Here are headlines you will NOT see in the mainstream basketball press:

  • Why Utah will be shopping Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert since the Jazz were bounced in the first round
  • The underachieving Rockets top offseason priority should be to dump James Harden for whatever it can get
  • Milwaukee knows it time to get rid of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton because of multiple playoff disappointments

None of the above fake news headlines are going to happen, and no one is really saying they will in the extremely active NBA Twitterverse and media outlets. Superstars do not get moved by their teams for a simple reason — the replacements will not be as good.

Now, the age where star players remain with the same franchise for their entire career is long gone. There are four ways top players leave:

  1. Contract runs out and simply go somewhere else as home fans get ticked off, feeling abandoned.  (LeBron James multiple times)
  2. Demand a trade and the team figures it has no choice unless want to deal with ticked-off player all season (Kyrie Irving, Paul George).
  3. Team starting rebuild and no need to waste a star on awful team, and also don’t want to deal with ticked off player all season (Russell Westbrook).
  4. Player has told them they are outta here at end of contract, so team tries to get something for them so don’t see him leave for nothing (Paul George, Anthony Davis)

The desperation teams have for a superstar sometimes means that No. 3 is not always in play. The Washington Wizards this year signed Bradley Beal to a humongous contract extension even though they are a few years away before they can be thought of as a contender.

Rotten teams want to have a ‘face of the franchise’ too if possible, as still have tickets to sell and a desire for decent television ratings.

Basically, teams NEVER trade an elite player unless forced to by circumstances. Besides the competitive as well as business aspects, the fact is NBA history shows that team’s never get equal value when dealing a big name let alone make out on the deal.

The 76ers are, naturally, a perfect example of when a front office deals away a star it blows up in their face.

The Sixers have traded away Wilt Chamberlain (1968), Moses Malone (1986), Charles Barkley (1992) and Allen Iverson (2007). All are hall of famers and when each was dealt the franchise took a nosedive in the standings.

What did they get in return? Do you remember Darrall Imhoff, Jeff Ruland (all three games), Jeff Hornacek, Joe Smith playing with the Sixers? Thought so.

Despite everything showing it does not pay off to trade a star player in their prime, there are a ton of stories, rumors, trade proposals and people just shooting off their mouths about how the Philadelphia 76ers should/will trade Ben Simmons and/or Joel Embiid.

So why is there so much talk about shipping them out of Philly? A few factors.

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