One thing’s for sure, and two things are for certain: Ben Simmons has no intention to ever play for the Philadelphia 76ers again.
Earlier this month, the three-time NBA All-Star demanded a trade in the aftermath of a 76ers playoff implosion that saw the 25-year-old outright refuse to shoot the ball in the fourth quarter throughout the 2021 Eastern Conference Semifinals. His coach, Doc Rivers, openly questioned if Simmons could lead a team to an NBA championship, and his teammate, superstar Joel Embiid, expressed his own concerns about the LSU product’s play.
“Man, I will be honest. I thought the turning point was, you know, when we, I don’t know how to say it, but I thought the turning point was just we had an open shot, and we made one free throw, and we missed the other, and they came down and scored,” Embiid said after Philly was eliminated from the playoffs.
This brings us to the present.
With the relationship between the organization and Simmons frayed on both sides, the six-foot-10 point guard has zero desire to mend any bridges or prove his capabilities on the court. ESPN’s senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Simmons not only won’t report to training camp, which begins next week, but he also has no intention to ever suit up in a 76ers jersey ever again.
In a looming standoff that could have lasting implications for the NBA, Philadelphia 76ers All-Star forward Ben Simmons will not report for the opening of training camp next week and intends to never play another game for the franchise, sources told ESPN on Tuesday.
Simmons, 25, wants a trade out of Philadelphia and told management that he has no plans to wear an NBA uniform again until he is moved to a new team, sources said.
Taking Simmons’ exorbitant salary—he has four years and $147 million left on his contract and is due $33 million this upcoming season—in relation to his diminished value around the league after his struggles in the playoffs, things are about to get very interesting in Philadelphia. It’s already hard to deal a player that struggled to the extent that Simmons did in the playoffs, but that difficulty is applied when the entire league knows that same player wants out.
And as for trade suitors, wellllllllll, I’ll let Yahoo Sports bring you up to speed on that:
Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has scoured the NBA for fair trade value and so far found nothing close. The Minnesota Timberwolves are reportedly unwilling to part with Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards for Simmons. The Sacramento Kings have reportedly kept De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton off the table. The Golden State Warriors reportedly will not deal James Wiseman and Jonathan Kuminga for Simmons. Philadelphia reportedly turned down a deal centered around Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon. Collin Sexton would reportedly be the centerpiece of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ interest.
Divorce is never easy, but only time will tell if the inevitable split between Simmons and the 76ers is beneficial for both sides.