ESPN Report Suggests Ben Simmons And 76ers Nowhere Close to Reconciliation As Trade Talks Continue
A new ESPN report regarding the Sixers relationship with Simmons came out, with Ramona Shelbourne going into detail on their current standing.
Shelbourne details how Simmons is frustrated that 76ers center Joel Embiid blamed him for the team’s playoff defeat last season, even though Simmons did not criticize Embiid for his poor performance against Toronto’s playoffs Raptors in 2019.
Simmons was heavily criticized by fans and media alike after passing up on an easy layup late in game seven of the Sixers playoff series against the Hawks in 2021. The Sixers lost the game and series, which seemed to be the last games Simmons will play for Philadelphia.
Also in the report, Shelbourne states how Rivers didn’t come to see Simmons while training in Los Angeles last summer, which also bothered the Sixers point guard.
Simmons did not dispute that he had not replied to several Doc Rivers texts and calls asking to see him over the summer.
Simmons felt that the organization had not done everything they could to communicate with him, like pop up at a well-known gym in Los Angeles where he was training, even with the missed calls and texts.
Although we have these inside sources detailing the situation, we have yet to hear from Simmons on everything that has gone on since the 76ers playoff defeat. Even the statements from the 76ers have been brief, with most trade reports by NBA insiders being less and less of anything by the day.
Simmons has given up over $19 million in fines since the season began. Each missed game has cost him 360,000.
“Every two weeks, the team sends a notice with an explanation of all the fines he has accumulated for failing to render services, instead of a $1.375 million paycheck,” Shelbourne writes. “By the end of the season, if he does not play for the Sixers or any other team, Simmons could lose another $12 million.”
Simmons’ failure to be rattled by the fines has certainly placed Philadelphia in a challenging position regarding trade talks.
Potential suitors for Simmons have no idea what kind of game shape he is in, and it seems like they won’t be finding out any time soon, with no movement on the side of Simmons returning to the court in Philadelphia.
The 76ers are currently 31-19 and in first place in the Atlantic Division. The team has been carried by star center Joel Embiid, but have been exploring trade options, with Simmons a key part of every package.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has continued to state that the Hawks and Timberwolves are interested in a trade for Simmons.
Wojnarowski has said, however, that “if they do a deal that doesn’t bring back a package that allows them to compete for a championship, it doesn’t make any sense.”
The Sacramento Kings had been pursuing Simmons aggressively, but they backed out of talks after the 76ers were asking for too much in return for the elite defender.
Simmons has recently begun to work out at the team facility again. According to the ESPN report, the continuation of training at the facility comes after he was seen on social media participating in a 5-on-5 game with local natives and former NBA players like Dion Waiters and Dionte Christmas at Cherry Hill East High School in New Jersey, just over a half an hour away from the 76er’s home arena in Philadelphia.
This situation seems like it is far from over, and could go past the trade deadline this season. It is a far cry from the outlook on the situation when the season began, where it looked like the situation would be resolved internally or he would be dealt within the month.
Instead, five months later, Simmons is still on the 76ers roster, with no clear end in sight.