The Philadelphia 76ers will open their preseason schedule Monday against the Toronto Raptors without Ben Simmons in the mix.
As you likely already know, the three-time All-Star point guard has requested a trade from the organization after a disappointing 2020-21 campaign. Simmons is so serious about being traded that he’s on the verge of forfeiting over $8 million in bonus money and continues to face daily fines for being away from training camp.
A recent report from Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer gives us a bit more regarding Ben Simmons’ thought process right now.
“The Sixers asked why Simmons wanted out, and (Rich) Paul (Simmons agent) informed them that the point guard was mentally exhausted,” Pompey reported. “The source believes they didn’t pay attention to Simmons’ state of mind or feelings about being in Philly because of the four years remaining on his contract.”
This is some new information on the Simmons’ front. The 25-year-old star has four more seasons remaining on the five-year, $177.2 million extension he signed back in July of 2019. Apparently, Philadelphia’s brass did not take his issues seriously — leading to a regression in terms of their relationship.
Ben Simmons remains a holdout: What’s next?
Recent reports indicate that the Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors, San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers are six legitimate suitors for Simmons. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst adds that the Packers are a “sleeper team” to watch.
This is one of the issues as it relates to a potential Simmons trade. Previously, the likes of the Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers were linked to him. None of those three teams are currently being bandied about.
In reality, it seems that the market for Ben Simmons is not as robust as the former No. 1 overall pick or his current team would like. Heck, even the Minnesota Timberwolves are a true wildcard. They just recently fired team president Gersson Rosas after being linked to Simmons throughout the entire summer.
What complicates this even further is the calendar. Philadelphia opens up its regular-season slate October 20 against the New Orleans Pelicans. That’s about two weeks away. Typically, blockbuster trades of this ilk are not made so close to the season starting.
The backdrop here includes differing opinions as it relates to Ben Simmons and his trade value. On one hand, he was a finalist for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award. On the other hand, Simmons’ limited offensive game has teams concerned. He averaged a mere 11.9 points while attempting less than eight field goals per game and shooting 34% from the free-throw line during Philadelphia’s “playoff run” a season ago.