• Ben Simmons' future could be on the line, depending on the NBA playoff performance of the Sixers
  • Simmons needs to prove he can be Joel Embiid's co-star
  • The Sixers may skim the market for other talents if Simmons fails to deliver

Ben Simmons has been often linked to NBA trade rumors, but the Philadelphia 76ers want nothing of it.

The former top pick continues to play for the Sixers, but his future remains murky. In the eyes of critics, the fate of the 24-year-old could be dictated by what happens to Philly in the postseason wars.

Overall, there is no question that Simmons is an NBA talent that any team would love to have. But to this day, his outside shooting continues to be an issue.

But with Joel Embiid proving to be the dominant force for head coach Doc Rivers right now, Simmons needs to step up and be that second All-Star if they will vie for the NBA title.

This season, Simmons has seen a drop in his career numbers. He is averaging 14.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 7.1 assists in 33.3 minutes of action.

His field goal percentage slightly dropped to 55%, while his three-point shooting is hardly impressive at 30%.

Meanwhile, his offense has been criticized even if the 6-foot-11 cager has been performing satisfactorily overall.

But if the Sixers want to stand up well against teams like the Brooklyn Nets or the Los Angeles Lakers, Simmons needs to add more flare.

A true test for him would be the postseason wars which could dictate if he is the right supporting guy that Embiid needs.

While most may see it premature, it is a reality for the Sixers if they want to land an NBA title.

The Nets have a plethora of talent in Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden although injuries have proven to be a bane for the wards of head coach Steve Nash.

The Lakers continue to rely on LeBron James who has an able partner in Anthony Davis.

When all players are healthy, the Sixers are in for rough nights, a reason why Philly may have to re-evaluate its options after this season.

Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers defends James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets
Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers defends James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets Getty Images | Tim Warner

Simmons signed a five-year contract extension with the Sixers worth $167 million, but pundits feel that Philly could look at other options in the offseason.

The Australian-American needs to prove that he can take over at times, easing some load of Embiid who also has his shares of health struggles.

If Simmons is unable to tango with Embiid or improve in scoring, such could lead the Sixers to check out the available talent in the offseason.

There are some names expected to tempt them although the three-time NBA All-Star can still prove detractors wrong in the playoffs.