The Ben Simmons situation in Philadelphia isn’t getting any better as the Sixers get set to open training camp next week. The three-time All-Star has made clear that he wants to be traded, and for weeks there’s been reporting that he will not show up to training camp.
As many have pointed out, that leaves him open to fines from the team as they can withhold his salary until he shows up, but according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Simmons is perfectly willing to accept that trade off so long as it ensures he “never plays another game” for Philly.
Simmons is clearly aware of sanctions available to organization to fine and suspend him, including withholding of salary. But so far, Simmons appears willing to carry out a plan of forcing his way to a new team. Sixers have yet to find a a trade they’re willing to make for him. https://t.co/vxSrBUWjXw
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 21, 2021
This seems, mostly, to be a more emphatic version of the report given by Marc Stein on Monday, which was that Simmons was still planning on holding out while the Sixers hoped to figure out how to get him into camp. Philadelphia still hasn’t found a trade offer they like for the star and would prefer to let this go into the season so Simmons could, possibly, recoup some value and remind everyone why he’s so good, because as of this moment, the lasting image of Ben Simmons on a basketball court is this.
It would certainly help his trade value if people were reminded that he isn’t terrified of scoring the basketball and, instead, simply had a weird series where he got into his own head a bit. However, Simmons seems to have no interest in returning to the Sixers to play for Doc Rivers or with Joel Embiid again, and it puts all parties involved in a precarious situation. The Sixers can certainly let this drag on until they get a trade offer they want, but if Simmons isn’t playing, it’s hard to see the offers getting significantly better while he stays home. On top of that, just having an All-Star sitting out for a significant period with no replacement is certainly not the formula for a team hopeful for another top 3 seed in the East. Simmons, meanwhile, doesn’t do anything to change the perception of many about him (on or off the court) and, at this point if there were any collaboration happening between Philly and Klutch to get Simmons to a preferred destination, that likely is no longer a concern of the Sixers.
All in all, it is quite the mess in Philly and it doesn’t seem to be getting cleaned up any time soon.