The former number one overall pick wants out of Philadelphia
For the second season in a row, the NBA will kick off training camps with another disgruntled star player. Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons has let the team know that he wishes to be traded and won’t show up to training camp or play in anymore regular season games for the Sixers.
This situation has been a long time coming as the Sixers reportedly offered Simmons in a trade for James Harden last season. After flaming out in the second round against the Atlanta Hawks, head coach Doc Rivers and superstar Joel Embiid said some things postgame that didn’t sit well with him.
While on the surface, you would think that the Sixers have most of the leverage in this situation. However, they don’t have as much as one would think.
Even though Simmons still has four years left on his contract, the league knows that the team wants to trade Simmons as much as he would like to be traded. Daryl Morey, Philadelphia’s President of Basketball Operations is stuck on trying to trade Simmons for another star player. Unfortunately, none are available at the moment and Simmons’ trade value is at an all-time low.
In an attempt to rekindle his trade value, Morey spent the summer retweeting positive stats about Simmons in a propaganda-like fashion.
Another reason why one would think Philly would at least have leverage to make him play until he’s traded is that they can fine him for missing regular season games. Although, Simmons has a unique contract where he is owed $16.1 million on Oct. 1, meaning that he will make nearly half of his base salary before a single regular season game is played.
At Sixers Media Day, when asked if he expects Simmons back on the team, Morey said, “You can look at the history of how these things (hold outs) play out. Ben’s a great player. And, you know, we expect him back.”
He also went on to compare this situation to the one currently happening in Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
Some teams rumored to have interest in Simmons are the Minnesota Timberwolves, Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings. However, none of these teams has a star player that they can or will offer in return, so a deal at this point seems unlikely.
While this situation still has a ways to go as it plays out, it appears that Simmons is content with sitting out as long as needed and paying the fines. While at the same time, the Sixers are in no hurry to trade Simmons for anything less than a star.
Needless to say, the clock is ticking in Philly, as they can’t afford to waste another year of dominant play from Embiid.