Since the Philadelphia 76ers fell short of contending for an NBA title, star point guard Ben Simmons’ future remains a prominent discussion. The 76ers sit actively searching for a trade to move the three-time All-Star. Simmons has now finally responded by forcing the franchise to his will by refusing to play.
Ben Simmons sits on unstable ground with the 76ers
After securing the Eastern Conference’s top playoff seed, the 76ers entered the 2021 playoffs, eyeing an NBA title push.
However, Philadephia fell to a disappointing second-round postseason exit in seven games to the Atlanta Hawks. The 76ers’ shortcomings quickly turned toward placing the bulk of the blame on Simmons‘ offensive struggles.
The All-Star point guard stumbled against the Hawks, scoring 12 points on three total shot attempts in the fourth quarter over the seven games. The dialogue has unsurprisingly transitioned to Simmons holding an unclear future in Philadephia.
As he continues to waffle in uncertainty, Simmons has finally taken a firm step toward resolving the situation.
Ben Simmons finally forces the 76ers to his will by refusing to play
Since the 76ers bowed out of the playoffs, the writing has been on the wall regarding Simmons’ future in Philadelphia.
The tone concerning the matter shifted toward the three-time All-Star being available in the trade market. Meanwhile, the 76ers maintain a high asking price of offering another All-Star talent in return.
It’s now boiled over to Simmons taking the situation into his hands by voicing to the team last week that he wants a trade.
“In a meeting with the 76ers last week in Los Angeles, Simmons told team co-managing partner Josh Harris, president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, general manager Elton Brand and coach Doc Rivers that he no longer wants to remain a Sixer, according to multiple sources,” Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Sources said the three-time All-Star also does not intend to report to training camp.”
The 76ers have attempted to move Simmons this offseason, but his diminished value has led to underwhelming trade discussions. The star point guard’s recent actions place a potential ticking time bomb for the 76ers with training camp beginning on Sept. 28.
The 25-year-old is in the second year of his five-year, $177.2 million deal that runs through the 2024-25 season without any player or team options. It’s become a question of the 76ers allowing it to fester into a distraction ahead of the upcoming campaign.
76ers hold final say over Ben Simmons’ future
Simmons has reached a breaking point with the 76ers as he feels a change of scenery is best for his career.
He spent the first four seasons developing into one of the league’s top young talent. However, the next step in his maturation as a player may be best served elsewhere. Meanwhile, the 76ers are sending mixed signals by telling him that they want him to report to training camp but are still trying to trade him.
It’s leading down the inevitable path of a trade to finally absolve the lingering situation. The 76ers have several teams interested in Simmons’ services, such as the Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors, and Indiana Pacers. In turn, Philadelphia may have to drop the asking price down if they hope to move him.
The 25-year-old has done his part by letting the front office know where he stands. It’s on the franchise to work out a feasible trade to allow both parties to move forward.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.