RUMOR: Sixers’ Ben Simmons is totally done with Embiid
The closer the 2021-22 NBA season gets, the sharper the turns of the Ben Simmons saga over at the camp of the Philadelphia 76ers. It’s already been clearly established that Simmons no longer wants to play for the Sixers, and now it appears that Joel Embiid is a key reason why the point-forward feels done in Philly, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic,
Yet of all the problem areas to explore, there’s none more unyielding and impossible to ignore than this: People who have intimate knowledge of how he sees this situation continue to insist that he’s done playing with Embiid. There’s nothing personal about this choice, it seems, but the 25-year-old Simmons has clearly decided that his career is better off without Embiid blocking the runways in the paint that he so badly needs to succeed.
The Sixers went through a shameless stretch of tanking in the last decade in order to load up on high picks in the draft, two of which conveyed into Embiid and Simmons. But it seems that, at least in the eyes of Simmons, the on-court partnership is not working, primarily because he feels Embiid’s presence is putting a limit on his true potential. With Embiid, the Sixers have become a post-heavy team. In fact, the Sixers led the league in post-up frequency in the 2020-21 season.
As he sees it, sources say, the organization’s choice to build its basketball ecosystem around Embiid’s style simply isn’t conducive to the way he needs to play. So while Embiid insisted to reporters on Monday that he wants Simmons back, this much is clear: The feeling is not mutual.
Simmons has yet to join the Sixers’ training camp, and he has not shown any plans of being with Philadelphia any time soon. In any case, this situation is definitely worth monitoring.