Disgruntled Point Guard Ben Simmons is Set to Sit Out of Philadelphia 76ers Training Camp

Carter Bentivenga, Managing Editor

Following the Philadelphia 76ers’ second round Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks last season, Ben Simmons was quoted as saying “I love being in Philly” (when asked about uncertainty surrounding his future with the team). 

Well, things have taken a pretty drastic change. 

Simmons, 25, has officially requested a trade out of the City of Brotherly Love, and has zero intentions of playing another game in Philadelphia. It’s also been reported that Simmons won’t report to 76ers training camp, scheduled to begin next week (per NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski). 

The tensions between Simmons and the 76ers organization reached a peak following the aforementioned Sixers’ loss in Game 7 against Atlanta. Simmons, who has taken some heat in the past for his poor shooting percentage, missed several open shots throughout the 2021 NBA Playoffs, and even passed up an open dunk opportunity in Game 7 because he was “afraid to get fouled”. For context, the Sixers dropped the do-or-die Game 7 by only seven points.  His woes also carried over to the free throw line, as the 2016 first-overall pick shot a disappointing 25-for-73 (34.2%) through 12 postseason games this year, and missed 27 free throws in that second round series loss as well. 

The scenario surrounding Simmons being traded has been circulating the basketball world since the Sixers (who finished as the first seed in the Eastern Conference) were eliminated. In fact, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers made headlines with his comment (or lack thereof) when asked if Simmons could serve as the point guard on a championship-winning team. “I don’t know the answer to that.” Rivers said. Yikes. 

Simmons currently has four years and $147 million left on the max contract extension he signed with Philadelphia back in the summer of 2019, including $33 million for the upcoming 2021-22 season. Speaking of cash, there could be some strict financial consequences for sitting out of camp (which Simmons seems to be aware of). According to Wojnarowski (and ESPN front office insider Bobby Marks), the 76ers organization has their own set of rules for a scenario like this, including hefty fines for missing media day and adding on for each missed practice. Those fines could cost the disgruntled Simmons nearly $228,000 for each game he sits out of. As of now, the fines will start with preseason games. But considering there hasn’t been a resolution yet, this could easily extend into the regular season. 

Now, we’ll have to wait and see who blinks first, as this staring contest gets more heated with each passing day.