Ben Simmons Continues to Poorly Handle Sixers Trade Request
Few stories have taken over an offseason the way the Ben Simmons trade saga has. Following a lackluster performance against the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals, many speculated the three-time All-Star had played his final game as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Daryl Morey has actively held trade discussions all summer for the former number one pick, but a deal has yet to come about. An array of teams expressed interest in acquiring Simmons, but none with an enticing enough offer for Morey’s steep asking price.
As things progressed farther into the offseason, the reality grew that a trade might not happen before the start of this upcoming season. In light of this, Simmons and his camp made it clear he would hold out until he was sent to a new team.
Now, with the start of training camp just a week away, new light has been shined on the situation. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Simmons will not be attending camp and has no intentions of suiting up for the franchise again.
ESPN Sources: 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.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 21, 2021
The report also stated Simmons fully understands the finical ramifications of this holdout and remains willing to force himself to a new team. After just four seasons together, it looks like the Joel Embiid/Ben Simmons era in Philadelphia is rapidly approaching its end.
There is a lot to look at how this situation has played out. Looking back at previous instances, Ben Simmons and Klutch are handling this in an extremely unprofessional manner.
Simmons is not the first player to request a trade and certainly won’t be the last. But this holdout could lead to much larger debates regarding the current “player empowerment era” that the NBA currently finds itself in.
Take James Harden, for example. Last offseason, he was the big name who was expected to be on the move. While he might have shown up late and not in great shape, the former MVP still reported to training camp when the time came.
Harden also took the floor for the Rockets nightly until he was eventually traded to the Brooklyn Nets. There is no denying he was visibly disgruntled with his current situation, but he toughed it out until a deal came about.
There is also the business side of things to look at. Part of why the Sixers haven’t rushed to a Ben Simmons trade is they still hold leverage. Simmons is still under contract for the next four seasons and has no opt-outs. This upcoming season is just year two of his five-year rookie extension.
The Sixers handed Ben Simmons big money with the thought he would be a pillar of the franchise for the long term. Even though things might have unraveled both on the court and behind the scenes, he should respect the organization and tough it out while they continue to find a deal.
Daryl Morey has remained firm on moving on from Simmons for pennies on the dollar, and rightfully so. The Sixers feel their window to compete for a title is now and need the proper pieces to do so. Unless a team is willing to put a high-level player who complements Embiid on the table, a deal is not going to get done.
Ben Simmons certainly made this situation uglier than it needed to be, and now the Sixers will have this cloud hanging over their heads as they prepare to bounce back from last season.