“This is what I heard,” Simmons said on his podcast, via RealGM. “I’ve had pretty good intel throughout this whole thing. This is what I was hearing in the moment. That Embiid really wanted Bradley Beal and was pushing really hard for it. And was talking to him all the time. And was pushing, pushing, pushing.
“And part of the reason the trade stuff took so long was because there was this Sixers’ side that wanted Harden. Obviously Daryl [Morey], because Harden is his guy. But Embiid really wanted Beal because he felt like he was a better fit. And was pushing, pushing, pushing.”
Beal suffered a wrist injury in late January against the Grizzlies. It was revealed earlier this month, ahead of the trade deadline, that he is out for the season.
“Then Beal gets hurt. But then Embiid is still pushing. ‘No, no, no, Beal, Beal, Beal,'” Simmons said. “Still working on him. And then Beal’s like, ‘I’m out.’ And he gets surgery. And then that’s how we end up with the Harden situation.”
As an aside, word around the NBA is that Harden may be willing take less money in free agency this summer to allow the 76ers to sign a third star. And as RealGM noted, “Beal projects to be the highest profile free agent this summer.”