What is typically the quietest time of the NBA season has been anything but for the Philadelphia 76ers. Ben Simmons rumors, mock trades, and reports have been coming out for the past few weeks and it doesn’t seem like that’ll change anytime soon.
The newest report comes from Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times:
#NBA source: The #Sixers 'are expecting (Ben Simmons) to play (in 2020-21). The expectation is they will. It's bumpy right now (& the team expects it) to get better.' The #76ers don't plan on making a deal that would drop them back in standings & not getting viable offers. pic.twitter.com/QUMmzkKbKF— Tom Moore (@TomMoorePhilly) September 15, 2021
This is reportedly not what Simmons (or at least his camp) intend to happen. Numerous reports and all signs point to him not attending training camp or playing another game in a Philadelphia 76er uniform.
Moore also added this to his original report, providing some additional details:
More #NBA source: 'Eventually he's going to show up. (#Sixers will) go from there.' They apparently plan to fine Simmons if he doesn't attend 2021-22 camp, preseason & so on. Don't want to trade for draft picks & try to convert to players. Can't get any of 5-10 NBA guys they like https://t.co/CVfFbQLJH4— Tom Moore (@TomMoorePhilly) September 15, 2021
A lot of this confirms what we already know: the Sixers intend to fine Simmons if he doesn’t show up, and I would assume that the NBA could step in if this type of situation would drag out. What is most interesting is the bit at the end that mentions the Sixers don’t want to a draft pick-based deal. They want win-now talent in any potential Simmons deal.
Whether Simmons plays another game in for the Sixers is really anyone’s guess as of right now. The Sixers can (and reportedly will) fine him if he doesn’t show up. What’s interesting in that aspect is the fact that Simmons’ deal is unique in terms of pay structure. ESPN’s Bobby Marks went into detail on this; 25 percent of his salary was paid back on July 1, and that an additional 25 percent would be paid on Oct. 1.
What does this mean? Simmons will have half of his contract already paid to him before the start of the 2021-22 NBA season.
Will an NBA star in his prime choose to forfeit that much money? The Sixers certainly appear to have their doubts on that, but only time will tell how this plays out and how ugly things might get going forward. Liberty Ballers will keep you updated on this (seemingly never-ending) saga.
You can listen to our latest podcast episode focusing on Moore’s report below. Paul Hudrick and Jas Kang discuss how things can play out if Simmons does report to the team. Plus they guys touch on the John Wall/Houston Rockets situation.
You can also check out the episode through one of the links below: