It appears that things are not getting better between three-time All-Star point guard Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Subjected to trade rumors ever since Philadelphia’s premature exit in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs, Simmons has apparently cut off communication with the organization. This came after the volatile figure struggled big time in the postseason and amid reports that he wants out of dodge.
According to Paolo Uggetti of The Ringer, that could potentially include Ben Simmons staying away from training camp if Philadelphia doesn’t trade him.
“And one scout I spoke to said they wouldn’t be surprised if Simmons considers not showing up to training camp if he hasn’t been traded,” the NBA insider noted.
Even after signing Simmons to a five-year, $177.24 million extension back in July of 2019, it’s become pretty clear that he’s not the face of the 76ers’ organization. Instead, that comes in the form of recently-extended All-Star center Joel Embiid.
This is one of the backdrops as it relates to Ben Simmons trade rumors over the past several weeks. He has not been in communication with Embiid since the latter called him out following the 76ers’ ugly playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks. All the while, it’s become clear that team president Daryl Morey is looking to trade Simmons.
Ben Simmons trade value and interested teams
“The entire situation puts Philly (and Simmons) in an awkward position. The Sixers believe that they’re a title contender, and they’re reportedly seeking four future first-round picks and an All-Star-level player for Simmons,” Uggetti went on to note. “The rest of the league, meanwhile, falls somewhere on a spectrum between thinking Simmons can still be a top-25 player and thinking he’s not worth trading for at all.”
This is an important thing to look at when figuring out whether Simmons will be dealt ahead of the start of the 2021-22 season. Prior to the start of the draft, Philadelphia engaged the Golden State Warriors in discussions surrounding the embattled star.
Said talks went nowhere when Philadelphia demanded both Warriors lottery picks in 2021, two future first-round picks, James Wiseman and Andrew Wiggins. Similar demands were made from Morey and Co. in discussions with the San Antonio Spurs.
It’s possible that Simmons is attempting to lower the 76ers’ asking price in a potential trade. By threatening a holdout or not reporting, he could force Philadelphia to take less in a blockbuster trade. That’s primarily true when looking at a potential marriage with the Warriors. Simmons is said to prefer to be moved to Northern California.
Either way we spin it, there’s no perfect fit for the former No. 1 pick. This past season saw Ben Simmons average 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.6 steals on 56% shooting from the field. It represented the worst statistical output of his four-year career despite the Aussie being named an NBA Defensive Player of the Year finalist.