But for the past seven weeks, teams around the league have been unwilling to meet Philadelphia's steep asking price for Simmons. And one NBA legend isn't confident that the former first overall pick has made enough of an effort to solve his bewildering shooting woes and shed his new-low reputation.
"We can make the assumption that you're not putting in the work," Shaquille O'Neal told The DA Show on Wednesday. "People who put in the work, when you see the product, you're saying, 'Oh, okay, he's been working.' But I don't want to see Instagrams of you making 15 to 19-footers and then when you're down one, dribbling under the basket when you have a guy who's 5-foot-1 on you to pass to somebody else because you're scared to go to the line...
"I saw a look in Ben's eyes that I've never seen before. You can ask for a trade all you want. But you still have to work on your game. And you're still obligated to put on a great show, because they're paying you and us a lot of money."
Simmons, a three-time All-Star, scored a measly seven points on just four shot attempts in the Sixers' Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the East semifinals back in June. The 25-year-old also finished the postseason a ghastly 25-for-73 (34.2-percent) from the free throw line, the worst rate in NBA playoff history, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
If those numbers aren't ugly enough, Simmons only took three total shots in 56 fourth-quarter minutes across seven games against Atlanta, and averaged a scant 9.8 points per game.
Simmons has four years and roughly $147 million remaining on his contract with the Sixers, per Spotrac.com.
The entire NBA conversation between O'Neal and DA can be accessed in the audio player above.