The Philadelphia 76ers remain on uncertain standing with star point guard Ben Simmons. After seeing his name heavily circulated in trade rumors, the three-time All-Star recently expressed a strong desire to leave the franchise. Simmons has dug more firmly into his stance behind the willingness to lose $1.3 million to push his way out of Philadelphia.
Ben Simmons wants out from the 76ers
Since the 76ers bowed out in the second round of this year’s playoffs, Simmons’ future remains in limbo.
The star point guard took on the bulk of the blame due to his offensive struggles in the seven-game series against the Atlanta Hawks. Simmons disappeared in the fourth quarter, scoring only 12 points on three total shot attempts over the seven games. It included five contests without a single field goal attempt.
The disappointing situation guided the 76ers to listen to trade offers for the 25-year-old. Several teams such as the Minnesota Timberwolves, Indiana Pacers, and Golden State Warriors expressed interest. All that led Simmons to air a desire to leave the franchise, which he’s taken another step further.
Ben Simmons is willing to forfeit $1.3 million to force his way out from the 76ers
The 76ers find themselves in a tough spot with Simmons as training camp sits only a few weeks away.
The 25-year-old expressed last month to the front office that he won’t report to any team-related activities before the 2021-22 season. During a recent episode on “The Hoop Collective” podcast, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst stated Simmons is willing to lose up to $1.3 million in fines for not showing up to training camp.
“Bobby Marks set me straight on this. (Simmons) can be fined $227,000 a day for not showing up,” Windhorst said via Larry Brown Sports. “Typically, NBA teams, especially in training camp, work six days a week. That means that if they wanted to fine him for every week, he could be fined about $1.3 million dollars. That is what they could do. The Simmons side, basically, has told me ‘we are prepared for that ramification.’”
Simmons is ready to dig into his firm stance as he no longer sees eye-to-eye with the franchise. At the same time, the star point guard isn’t receiving his first check for the upcoming season until Nov. 15, meaning the team can’t fine him until then.
All that presents a 10-week window for the two sides to sort out the matter before Simmons faces any financial punishment. The 76ers are holding firm to pushing the three-time All-Star to attend training camp, but it’s becoming increasingly evident that a trade may be the only feasible route.
Inevitable pathway lies ahead for the 76ers
As the offseason rolls along, Simmons is growing more cemented in his desire to leave the 76ers.
Philadelphia hasn’t shied away from moving the star point guard, but rather the front office is holding out hope another team will be willing to abide by the high asking price. 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 team or player options.
Simmons’ contract situation makes acquiring him a long-term commitment. It may all come down to the 76ers lowering the desired trade package as no team appears willing to unload another All-Star talent to land the LSU product.
Until the 76ers reach that point, it will remain an unresolved matter that will linger over the franchise.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.