John Wall‘s contract and injury history prevent him from being a realistic option for the Sixers as they try to work out a Ben Simmons trade, writes Derek Bodner of The Athletic. The Rockets and Wall have agreed that he won’t play again until he’s traded elsewhere, but Philadelphia president of basketball operations Daryl Morey is looking for a far greater return for Simmons than the 31-year-old point guard.
Wall will make $44.3MM this season and has a $47.4MM player option for 2022/23, which means he, Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris would take up a huge chunk of the Sixers’ salary cap over the next two years. Philadelphia can only take back about $39.5MM by trading Simmons, so the team would have to include at least one more player in any deal for Wall.
Wall played just 40 games last season, which was his first after returning from an Achilles injury. Although he averaged 20.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists per night, there are concerns about his overall game and his fit alongside Embiid due to his limited outside shot. Bodner believes the Rockets would have to include several high-value draft picks to get Morey’s attention and doesn’t see the teams as realistic trading partners.
There’s more from Philadelphia:
- ESPN’s Brian Windhorst hears that Sixers fans are part of the reason Simmons wants to leave. Appearing on SiriusXM NBA Radio, Windhorst says Simmons’ relationship with the city soured last season (hat tip to Alek Arend of The Spun). “It’s not just that he doesn’t wanna play there anymore,” Windhorst said. “He doesn’t want to be in front of those fans. I don’t think he ever intends to show his face there again unless he’s part of the visiting team.”
- The Simmons drama will continue to hang over the Sixers until he either reports to the team or is traded, states Marcus Hayes of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Simmons has insisted that he won’t be present when training camp opens this week, and he reportedly turned down an offer to meet with teammates who want to smooth over the situation. Hayes contends that Simmons’ stance shows a lack of concern for his teammates, the organization that made him the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2016 and the fan base that has supported him.
- Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer looks at several other training camp storylines, including how Embiid adjusts in the post-Simmons era, the development of second-year guard Tyrese Maxey and other young players, and the addition of Andre Drummond, who has a long-simmering rivalry with Embiid.