Philadephia 76ers star Ben Simmons is seemingly willing to sit out games in order to force a trade. If that’s the case, the All-Star point guard could be sitting for a long time.
Following Simmons’ brutal performance in the playoffs, a separation between the 76ers and him seemed inevitable. But Philadelphia set an extremely high asking price, and that drove interested teams away from a potential trade.
As the 76ers’ dramatic summer dragged on, Simmons made his intentions clear. He wouldn’t report to training camp and he is committed to never playing for Philadelphia again. He also leaked subtle shots at Joel Embiid and ignored efforts from teammates who reached out to him.
With the 76ers not budging off their asking price, and Simmons refusing to suit up for the franchise, NBA teams are taking notice and this saga could play out into the regular season.
“Meanwhile, real Simmons trade talk between the 76ers and other teams continues to be nearly dead,” according to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Kurt Helin. “Teams have settled into their rosters for the start of the season. Until a franchise suffers a significant injury, or gets off to a slower-than-expected start (or, maybe faster), there is nothing to change that dynamic and spark a deal.
Philadelphia is already holding training camp, and it’s evident this relationship won’t be repaired in the near future. The 76ers withheld an $8.25 million payment, and the star guard seems willing to lose out on millions of dollars to force a trade.
Ben Simmons contract: $33 million (2021-’22), $35.45 million (2022-’23), $37.9 million (2023-’23) and $40.34 million (2024-’25)
Neither side is in a good situation. Simmons is under contract the next four seasons, meaning Philadelphia can withhold his salary as long as he holds out. But the 76ers want to compete for an NBA championship this season and they have no shot at doing that without Simmons or quality talent acquired via trade.
Ultimately, one of the two sides will cave. That will likely be the 76ers, who might ultimately realize it’s better to get something than to just have an All-Star sitting out all season.