Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons appears to be steadfast in his desire to play basketball for another organization.
According to a report by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Simmons will not report to Sixers camp next week. The report comes a few weeks after it was reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer that Simmons informed Philadelphia 76ers’ management that he no longer wishes to be a Philadelphia 76er and does not intend to report to training camp.
“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,” Wojnarowski reported. “Simmons hasn’t spoken to team since a late August meeting when he communicated this message to Sixers officials.”
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
Should Simmons follow through with his decision to hold out, he could be subject to fines and suspension from the organization.
The future of Simmons in Philadelphia started to look more than murky after his brutal performance in this year’s NBA Playoffs.
The Sixers — who have not been to an Eastern Conference Finals since the 2000-2001 season — lost to the Atlanta Hawks in seven games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. In the series, Simmons struggled mightily on the offensive side of the court, often refusing to look for his own shot.
Simmons averaged just 9.9 points per game against the Hawks, much of which could be attributed to his horrendous free-throw shooting during the playoffs.
A 61.3% free-throw shooter during the regular season — Simmons dipped to a historically low 34.2% in the postseason.
During the seven-game series against Atlanta, Simmons attempted just three total shots in the fourth quarter and didn’t have a single fourth-quarter attempt in the last four games of the series.
While it’s no secret that president of basketball operations Daryl Morey had at least explored moving on from Simmons during the previous offseason, the comments made after the series by head coach Doc Rivers — and to a lesser extent Joel Embiid — effectively ended Simmons’ time in Philly.
After their second-round exit, Rivers was asked if Simmons could be the point guard on a championship team, to which Rivers replied, “I don’t know the answer to that.”
Toward the end of game seven against the Hawks, Simmons incredibly passed up a wide-open dunk attempt, instead choosing to give the ball to Matisse Thybulle.
This pass by Simmons (rather than uncontested dunk) is a 30-for-30. https://t.co/63J9n6TWpB
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) June 21, 2021
After the game, Embiid pointed to the play as the turning point.
“I’ll be honest: I thought the turning point was when we had an open shot, and we made one free throw and we missed the other, and they came down and scored,” Embiid said.
All of this — and more — has led to Simmons asking out of Philadelphia. It’s clear that both sides need to make a change — Simmons needs to start fresh on a team willing to build around him, and the Sixers need to focus completely on building a championship team around Embiid.
The question remains, how will the situation play out?
Simmons still has four years and $147 million left on his contract, and the Sixers are under no obligation to trade him. Additionally, Simmons’ trade value has never been lower, and Morey won’t trade the three-time All-Star for anything less than what he thinks Simmons is worth.
Training camp for Philadelphia begins Tuesday, September 28.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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