Ben Simmons doesn’t appear inclined to do the Sixers any favors when it comes to trying to boost his trade value and helping them find a deal. As Dan Feldman of NBC Sports relays, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer suggested during a recent appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic Philadelphia that Simmons and his camp weren’t fans of comments made – and actions taken – by head coach Doc Rivers and president of basketball operations Daryl Morey over the course of the year.
Rivers said at the end of the season that he wasn’t sure Simmons could be the point guard for a championship team, while Morey claimed last winter that the Sixers weren’t moving the three-time All-Star, despite the fact that the team was discussing him in James Harden trade negotiations.
“(Simmons’ camp is) saying to themselves, ‘Why should we help the 76ers out?’ when they feel like, when Doc Rivers said what he said, no one apologized,” Pompey said during his radio appearance. “Doc Rivers wasn’t reprimanded by the team or this and that. Or there’s an organization where, in the preseason last year, when they were saying they weren’t trying to trade him, but everyone knew they were trying to trade him.”
Within an in-depth look at the Simmons situation, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps and Bobby Marks say that when the Sixers’ brain trust – including owner Josh Harris – met Simmons and his representatives in Los Angeles last month, the team planned to tell the 25-year-old it couldn’t find a deal for him and hoped to move forward with him.
However, Simmons was steadfast in asking to be traded and made it clear he doesn’t intend to come to training camp if he’s still on the roster by the end of September. According to Bontemps and Marks, while the 76ers may be hoping Simmons can boost his trade value by getting off to a strong start during the regular season, “the point was made” during that L.A. meeting that increasing his value isn’t Simmons’ responsibility.
Here’s more on the Simmons situation:
- If Simmons doesn’t report to camp, the Sixers would have the option of suspending him and fining him 1/145th of his salary per day, according to Bontemps and Marks. Alternatively, the team could fine him $2,500 for his first missed practice, $5,000 for his second missed practice, and $7,500 for his third, plus “reasonable” fines for any missed practices after that.
- If the Sixers decide they don’t want to burn any bridges and choose not to suspend or fine Simmons for failing to show up to camp, Bontemps and Marks expect the NBA to step in. As the ESPN duo observes, the league won’t want to set a precedent that a player can decide not to report to camp without being penalized.
- While he concedes that anything is possible, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said during an appearance on The Jump (video link) that he highly doubts Simmons and the Sixers will be able to repair their relationship.
- Noting that the Timberwolves and Cavaliers have been frequently mentioned as two of the teams that remain in the hunt for Simmons, Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice considers what hypothetical Simmons trades with those clubs might look like.