Sixers star point guard Ben Simmons has likely played his final game with the franchise.
Following a summer filled with trade rumors, a recent report suggests he’s made it clear to Sixers’ brass that he’d like to play elsewhere in 2021-22.
The flack that he took from fans and media last year because of his playoff failures and shooting woos has caused the three-time All-Star to want a fresh start somewhere else.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 31, 2021
Per report, Simmons met with 76ers officials in Los Angeles last week, where he made it clear he doesn’t want to remain with the team and he also plans to hold out of training camp.
Source: There’s a high chance that Tyrese Maxey will be a part of any Ben Simmons trade.
Rich Paul would like both of his clients out of Philadelphia.
— Jason Dumas (@JDumasReports) August 31, 2021
With about a month until the Sixers open training camp, this has to be considered a huge deal around the league.
The Sixers finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference, only to be upended at home in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Atlanta Hawks. It was a series that saw Philly lose three of its four home games.
The franchise has been navigating through the offseason with the belief that Simmons would remain in Philadelphia, primarily due to the team’s exhorbitant asking price for the three-time All-Star.
This demand by Simmons changes dynamics in a huge way. If Simmons is making it clear that he does not want to return to the 76ers, then we can expect trade talks with interested teams to heat up.
According to reliable sources Simmons will be accomodated, so the only question now is at what price?
There’s no repairing the relationship between Ben Simmons and the 76ers! They gave Embiid the estate this summer and Ben feels like he’s been a pro through trade rumors and a half assed commitment from the team.
The Ben Simmons chapter of the process is done. Carry on…
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) September 1, 2021
It was noted that the Sixers demanded four first-round picks, plus Andrew Wiggins and James Wiseman from the Golden State Warriors for Simmons in a propsed trade shortly before the NBA Draft. They also demanded pretty much the same type of hefty compensation from the San Antonio Spurs.
Not sure how a team that was actively looking to trade a player thinks that it can fleece other teams in a potential deal for that player, but business is business.
What teams are willing to give up for Simmons is up to them, but Philly doesn’t have that much leverage in the situation because everyone knows they have to trade Simmons because he lost his love for the franchise following a horrible playoff performance.
Among the teams still engaged in trying to add the defensive stalwart, Simmons has been linked to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors as of late.
Simmons is only 25, but he’s also coming off his career-worst 2020-21 which saw him average 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists.
He struggled even more during the playoffs, leading to rumors about a potential departure from the City of Brotherly Love.
Some blame Ben’s ego and stubborness for his struggles at the free throw line and his overall lack of an offensive game.
Others blame the Sixers for not moving him off the point guard position and to a more suitable forward gig sooner.
Reminder: after the Sixers loss to the Celtics in the 2018 playoffs, where Ben Simmons offensive woes were fully exposed, the Sixers arraigned for Simmons to work with a renowned shooting coach in the offseason. Simmons' team refused, and he trained with his brother instead. https://t.co/Q6yIqC6wmk
— Patrick (@76Iggles) September 1, 2021
With his departure now seeming imminent, more teams will get into the Ben Simmons sweepstakes. Simmons, the player that LeBron James once called “Young King” and was often compared to Bron when it came to versatility, size and potential, has not improved his offensive game since entering the league.
That is the biggest knock on Simmons who is recognized as one of the elite defensive players in the NBA.
The final straw was probably when he even passed on an open dunk with the playoff game hanging in the balance and the Sixers trailing by two. That play right there was a microcosm of what the Sixers and Simmons have become.
Since that performance, Simmons has been the whipping boy of NBA Twitter and other media outlets.
Bag of Jayson Tatum Ruffles pic.twitter.com/iCLiRw7rLp
— honestnbafan (@officalnbahater) June 17, 2021
His age suggests that he still has a window to improve his outside shooting and offensive repertoire, but with Philly in win-now mode, the franchise can’t afford another playoff failure.
In the right system, Simmons can still be an All-star asset. He just isn’t equipped to carry the burden as No. 2 scorer.