Since the Philadelphia 76ers stumbled out of the NBA playoffs last month, Ben Simmons has gone radio silent. After the 24-year-old point guard struggled throughout the postseason, he’s quickly become one of the most high-profile players mentioned in trade rumors this offseason. However, Simmons hasn’t addressed any of the ongoing speculation.
On his 25th birthday on Tuesday, he finally broke his silence.
Simmons shared two pictures of himself in a gym on Instagram to celebrate his birthday. Accompanying the post, he penned a message about his mindset heading into a new year.
“Reflecting back I’ve experienced some amazing highs and with that, some of the lowest lows. Life’s a journey.. I’ll always remain relentless and remain human through it all. Here’s to my 25 year #Relentlesspursuit doing what I love on my bday, I’m blessed,” Simmons wrote.
Seeing Simmons in the gym is a welcome sight after he withdrew from the Australian national team ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games. He cited his desire to work on his game as the primary reason for dropping out and clearly meant what he said.
No matter what kind of work Simmons puts in this offseason, he might not be headed back to the 76ers next season. The team has reportedly opened up trade talks for the All Star caliber point guard, per Shams Charania.
“Sources tell me that the Sixers have opened up conversations on Ben Simmons and have engaged with teams that are interested,” Charania said. “From what I’ve been told, teams have noticed there is a high price threshold on Simmons right now. I had one source tell me that the Sixers want an All-Star caliber player back.”
It’s no secret that Simmons struggled with confidence and free-throw shooting during this most recent playoffs. Still he averaged 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game this past season and finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting, meaning he has plenty to bring to any team interested in trading for him.
With the NBA Draft just over a week away, we could see an update on the Simmons trade rumors in the near future.