Yo, Philly! Ben Simmons seems to be out of there.
According to ESPN senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Australian sensation won’t be returning to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Simmons is clearly aware of sanctions available to organization to fine and suspend him, including withholding of salary. But so far, Simmons appears willing to carry out a plan of forcing his way to a new team. Sixers have yet to find a a trade they’re willing to make for him. https://t.co/vxSrBUWjXw
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 21, 2021
“Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons will not report for opening of training camp next week and intends to never play another game for the franchise. Simmons hasn’t spoken to team since a late August meeting when he communicated this message to Sixers officials.”
“Simmons is clearly aware of sanctions available to organization to fine and suspend him, including withholding of salary. But so far, Simmons appears willing to carry out a plan of forcing his way to a new team. Sixers have yet to find a a trade they’re willing to make for him.”
In preparation for the 2021-22 season, NBA training camps will begin on Sept. 28 for some teams. However, preseason action starts on Oct. 3. With the regular season arriving on Oct. 19, Simmons is putting the Sixers in a precarious predicament.
Breaking: Ben Simmons will not report to training camp next week.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 21, 2021
Every team hasn’t released their training camp schedules yet. However, those will be coming out over the next week.
The All-Star forward not reporting for the opening of training camp next week is a definite beginning to a standoff. The fact that he intends to never play another game for the franchise, according to ESPN, attests that the Simmons rift is unsalvageable.
Simmons’ rift with the team and the city hit a fever pitch during the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Sixers lost to the Atlanta Hawks, and many blamed Simmons’ performance as a significant factor in the defeat.
City of Brotherly Shade
Between popular opinion in the city of Philadelphia and frustrations with the front office, Simmons is frustrated.
76ers asking Ben Simmons to report to camp: pic.twitter.com/wbxoB064pG
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 21, 2021
The 25-year-old wants the organization to activate a trade out of the City of Brotherly Love. In essence, he has told management that he will never play in the league again unless his uniform bears another team’s logo.
However, Simmons is playing Russian roulette with his salary or perhaps it’s more holding a season or a title hostage.
The Aussie has four years and $147 million left on his max contract. The number includes $33 million for 2021-22. But Simmons is aware of the consequences and wants out of the city anyway.
If he sticks to his guns, the Sixers could fine Simmons for a significant portion of his salary. The strategy also has implicit ramifications towards Philly’s championship hopes.
The mix of Sixers All-NBA Center Joel Embiid and Simmons is highly touted as the championship formula. The move would disrupt the current playing spectrum for the team and, unless there is a viable trade, it could hurt their playoff chances.
According to the ESPN report, Daryl Morey, Sixers president of basketball operations, and coach Doc Rivers told Simmons to report to training camp. Sticking to the original plan, they want Simmons to continue to partner with Joel Embiid. However, Simmons apparently is no longer motivated to do so.
This is utterly ridiculous on the part of Ben Simmons. Come on, Bro! pic.twitter.com/HXZOBaTarJ
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) September 21, 2021
According to the league’s collective bargaining agreement, the Sixers can withhold salary for a player’s failure to provide services. In addition, the Sixers’ internal rules have fines for missed mandatory appearances.
Like, a player can’t miss a media day or practice; missing an entire training camp and season would take a significant bite out of Simmons’ earning potential with the organization.
Messing Up The Bag
Simmons could lose upwards of $227,613 for every game he misses.
Additionally, in Simmons’ contract, he will receive 50% of his salary before Oct. 1. An announced no-show for camp and the season could affect how they decide to maneuver with that payout before the beginning of October.
Philadelphia looked at Ben Simmons with the zeal to make him a franchise player like Allen Iverson. Unfortunately, the criticism from the passionate city and his unwillingness to improve his shooting game to meet expectations has derailed the young player from a potential home.
The Brotherly Love just wasn’t felt for Ben Simmons.