With less than two weeks to go before the start of the NBA’s preseason schedule ahead of the 2021-22 campaign, there is finally some movement on the Ben Simmons front — and it looks as though his time with the Philadelphia 76ers is finished.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday that Simmons will not report to training camp next week and “intends to never play another game for the franchise.”
Simmons has not spoken with the 76ers since August when his future with the team remained in serious doubt.
The 25-year-old former No. 1 overall pick has four years remaining on a five-year, $177.2 million deal with the 76ers, which will now have to try and be moved within the next few weeks if the organization wants to get the malcontent off the roster.
If the team is in no rush to move him — which seems to be the case considering trade rumors swept through the league like wildfire throughout the summer — there are a series of sanctions available to fine and suspend him, potentially without pay.
That derives from an inability to strengthen his trade value — and they tried last year when attempting to acquire James Harden from the Houston Rockets.
Simmons has been unable to improve his offensive game since the Sixers drafted him first overall in 2016, which remains the largest hole in a game that constantly displays the raw intangibles for stardom.
He’s a three-time All-Star behind facilitating and defensive fortitude, but a career 56% field-goal mark holds zero threat from either the mid-range or three-point land. Simmons has attempted just 34 three-pointers in his career, sinking five of them.
An inability to improve has been seen as one of the glaring reasons why the 76ers have been unable to take the next step in contending for an Eastern Conference crown, let alone an NBA title. Simmons’ ineptitude to shoot withholds the 76ers from spacing the floor properly to create more opportunities for superstar center, Joel Embiid.
Yet Simmons exacerbated the sour relationship with the 76ers by getting on the front office before his radio silence, including a report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst that revealed Simmons told the team that “it’s not his job to fix his trade value.”