Report: Barkley calls Sixers 'stubborn,' 'stupid' for holding on to Simmons

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Feb. 10 NBA trade deadline is just three weeks away, and Ben Simmons’ situation, as of Wednesday, remains unresolved. He is still out because of personal reasons, and it doesn't appear a trade is imminent.

On Monday, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported on "NBA Today" that Simmons, who she says continues to work with his therapist, seems to be prepared to stay out the entire season if it takes the 76ers that long to make a deal.

Based on reporting about the situation thus far, the Sixers seem unlikely to part ways with Simmons unless they get something big out of a trade.

Sixers icon Charles Barkley thinks that's the wrong approach.

"The Sixers are being stubborn and just wasting Joel Embiid's great season. They're being stupid," he said in a TMZ Sports interview published Tuesday.

Embiid has been on a tear lately. He has scored at least 30 points in 12 of his last 14 games, dating back to Dec. 16. He has reached the 30-point mark in 11 consecutive road games, which is a Sixers record. This is Embiid's prime, but the Sixers are 25-18 -- which as of Tuesday was good for sixth in the Eastern Conference. That is very close to the first- and second-place Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat, but some will make the argument they're not among the Eastern Conference elite.

Barkley's point appears to be: Get Embiid some help, because there's no going back for Simmons.

"You got to move on from a bad relationship," Barkley told TMZ Sports. "Joel Embiid has been playing great this year, so they're wasting his talents. ... They've got to make a decision. ... Ben Simmons never gonna play in Philly again. The fans will never forgive him."

For what it's worth, Embiid indicated last Friday that he doesn't think the organization needs to do anything to improve this team as it enters the second half of the season.

"You know, there's really no urgency to change anything," Embiid said. "I think, you know, we got everything we need. You know, we gonna keep on going and, you know, I'm happy."

According to Shelburne, she got clarification from Embiid that he likes the challenge of winning with the players the Sixers currently have available.