Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers stay at an impasse, with no motion since Philadelphia was eradicated in the second spherical of the playoffs by the Atlanta Hawks in June.
Simmons, who’s underneath contract for 4 extra seasons, want to be traded. The 76ers want to trade him, however just for a return they consider is commensurate with how they worth the 25-year-old, three-time All-Star and two-time All-Defense choice.
So far, a deal hasn’t occurred. Until it does, each side will stay locked in a stalemate.
Sources beforehand advised ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Simmons had sought a trade out of Philadelphia and that Simmons’ agent, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, and Sixers administration had met early in the offseason. Simmons has but to report back to camp forward of the workforce’s first preseason sport Monday in opposition to the Toronto Raptors.
“We’re in it for the long haul,” a supply near Simmons told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
All of that provides as much as Philadelphia — a metropolis that has grown accustomed to drama surrounding its basketball workforce — being house to the league’s stickiest scenario forward of the 2021-22 season.
NBA Power Rankings: Where the Simmons saga despatched Philly
Preseason has began. Where does the Simmons scenario stand as of Monday?
The 76ers traveled north of the border to tackle the Raptors Monday evening. Simmons, as anticipated, did not be part of them, persevering with his holdout that formally started when he did not report back to coaching camp final week.
But whereas Philadelphia positioned the 25% of Simmons’ wage that he was owed Friday — roughly $8.25 million — into an escrow account, Monday marks the first day he’ll start to see a everlasting monetary hit for his resolution to steer clear of his workforce.
Beginning with Monday’s sport in opposition to the Raptors, the Sixers plan to high-quality Simmons for each sport — each preseason and common season — that he’s away from the workforce. For every sport missed, Philadelphia will deduct roughly $360,000 from that $8.25 million positioned in escrow.
The high-quality falls underneath the settlement spelled out between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association in the Health and Safety Protocols, the place a participant who’s unable to play as a consequence of “reasonable cause” can have his compensation for this season diminished by 1/91.sixth (about 1.09%) of the participant’s base compensation for every sport he misses.
In the occasion Simmons skips all 4 of the 76ers’ preseason video games, Simmons will lose roughly $1.4 million in fines. If he is traded, for instance, on Nov. 19 — a month into the common season — he’ll lose roughly $7.2 million in wage.
This will not be cash Simmons can get again in the occasion Philadelphia ultimately accedes to his want to be traded. The workforce that chooses to trade for him can not conform to pay Simmons the cash he’s owed in fines from Philadelphia. Instead, Simmons would solely have the ability to get some, or all, of the high-quality a reimbursement by coming to a settlement with the 76ers, who would haven’t any incentive to take action.
How did we get right here?
From the second Simmons handed out of a wide-open dunk to Matisse Thybulle with underneath 4 minutes to go in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in opposition to the Hawks, league insiders have believed his exit from Philadelphia was inevitable.
After staunchly defending Simmons all season, Sixers coach Doc Rivers was requested after that Game 7 loss if Simmons could possibly be a championship-level level guard. “I don’t know the answer to that,” Rivers stated.
Part of the motive Rivers defended Simmons all season was that it was his newest try to make use of his information conferences to spice up the confidence of certainly one of his key gamers — one thing he’d had success doing with gamers like Rajon Rondo with the Boston Celtics and DeAndre Jordan with the LA Clippers.
Not solely was Philadelphia nonetheless hoping Simmons would develop into extra prepared to shoot, however there additionally was the proven fact that Simmons’ identify had been bandied about in James Harden trade talks at the begin of the season.
Ultimately, none of it labored, culminating with Simmons passing up that wide-open dunk.
Shortly after that ugly Game 7 loss, and following a dialogue between administration and Simmons’ illustration, each side agreed to search for a trade as the draft and free company approached. Over the ensuing weeks, the Sixers had talks with quite a few groups, sources stated, and a number of made what they believed had been reliable presents.
It grew to become clear the Sixers’ asking worth for Simmons was steep; Philly was on the lookout for a premium return whether or not it was a star participant, a number of first-round picks or each.
After the transaction season resulted in mid-August, proprietor Joshua Harris and 76ers administration flew to Los Angeles to satisfy with Simmons and agent Rich Paul. The Sixers meant to inform Simmons they could not discover a deal for him, hoping to place apart variations and enter the season on the identical web page, sources stated.
Simmons, nevertheless, was steadfast, telling Harris he did not wish to play for the workforce once more and that if he wasn’t traded by the finish of the month, he did not intend to come back to coaching camp, sources stated.
The level was made that it wasn’t Simmons’ accountability to extend his trade worth, and that the Sixers ought to discover the absolute best trade and execute it now, relatively than await a powerful begin to the season to extend his worth.
Simmons hasn’t spoken to the workforce since that assembly, although 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey stated he has communicated together with his representatives, led by agent Rich Paul, since then.
Why hasn’t Simmons been traded but?
The easy reply? Because Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal aren’t accessible but.
Morey has confirmed three issues over his lengthy, profitable run as an government: He is not afraid of awkward conditions, he is not going to make a deal for the sake of creating one and he’s continuously making an attempt to swing trades for stars.
Like a number of different groups round the league, the 76ers are intently monitoring the Lillard scenario in hopes that he asks out of Portland. Earlier this summer time, Lillard stated he did not really feel like the Blazers had a championship roster and needed to see enhancements. Portland has had a quiet offseason by way of free-agent additions.
Until there’s any motion there — or one other workforce is available in with an enormous provide for Simmons individually — it appears probably Simmons will stay on Philadelphia’s roster for the foreseeable future.
What are league insiders saying about how Philly is dealing with this?
A participant refusing to report with 4 years and roughly $150 million remaining on his contract is unprecedented, and has executives from round the league watching it intently to see how Philadelphia handles it.
Multiple executives from different groups have applauded the Sixers’ strategy, saying it was the solely manner Philadelphia may’ve dealt with it. One stated the manner Simmons has gone about that is the equal of a workforce going to an ageing veteran and saying, “We paid you a lot of money, but now you’re not worth it, so we’re gonna pay you $10 million instead — or not at all.”
Another exec identified that not like previous conditions wherein a participant has held out heading into the season, solely to ultimately present up, these gamers had been holding out with a purpose to get a brand new contract. Simmons’ case is exclusive as a result of he’s holding out in the hopes of getting paid to play elsewhere.
Have there been latest examples of gamers underneath contract not reporting to camp?
The closest is Jimmy Butler in 2018 with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Butler was dissatisfied that his contract was not renegotiated throughout the offseason and believed not everybody on the roster was aligned to successful. As a end result, he implored the group to trade him.
The Butler scenario was totally different as a result of the Timberwolves gave him permission to overlook media day and the early a part of coaching camp whereas he rehabbed his proper knee. When Butler did return to coaching camp on Oct. 10, he created a storm at his first follow, difficult teammates, coaches and front-office executives.
One of these targets was then-GM Scott Layden. “You f—ing need me, Scott. You can’t win without me,” Butler reportedly stated.
The younger Timberwolves workforce that reached the playoffs the earlier 12 months began the season 3-7. After 4 straight losses, Butler was traded on Nov. 12 to Philadelphia, the place he helped Simmons and Embiid attain the second spherical of the playoffs earlier than dropping to the eventual champion Toronto Raptors.
Another instance is when the Rockets’ James Harden requested for a trade final offseason and missed the first week of coaching camp on account of failing to satisfy the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols.
Harden ultimately practiced on Dec. 14 however was dominated unavailable for the Rockets’ season opener after being noticed at an indoor social gathering and not using a masks, a violation of the league’s well being and security protocols that price him $50,000. Houston began the season 3-6 earlier than Harden was traded to Brooklyn in mid-January.
Unlike Minnesota and Houston, the place Butler and Harden had been each their groups’ high gamers, that isn’t the case in Philadelphia. The 76ers have an MVP candidate in Joel Embiid and a powerful nucleus led by Tobias Harris, Seth Curry, Thybulle and Tyrese Maxey.
With or with out Simmons, Philadelphia remains to be a playoff workforce, though probably not certainly one of the favorites to win the Eastern Conference.
What is Simmons’ relationship with Embiid now?
From the second Simmons and Embiid started enjoying collectively in 2017, there have been questions about their on-court match regardless of the two of them persistently posting constructive web rankings when sharing the courtroom.
Philadelphia’s repeated stumbles in the playoffs have not eased these considerations. And after Embiid spoke to the media following the 76ers’ Game 7 loss to the Hawks, the concept of breaking apart the stars burst open.
“I’ll be honest. I thought the turning point was when we, I don’t know how to say it, is when we had an open shot and we made one free throw,” Embiid stated, not naming Simmons however particularly calling out his passed-up layup alternative as the motive for Philadelphia’s loss.
Embiid addressed the matter throughout his media day interview at the begin of coaching camp in Camden, New Jersey.
“I didn’t call out anybody. I just stated the facts. I’m honest. I can’t lie. That’s just me,” Embiid stated. “So I don’t have any regrets because I don’t feel like I put anybody in a situation where they had to feel bad.”
Embiid did, nevertheless, say he has regrets about how the scenario between Simmons and the workforce has deteriorated. When requested what he would’ve stated to Simmons if he’d been given the likelihood to speak to him — Embiid confirmed he and his teammates tried to take action, just for Simmons to rebuff them — Embiid paused for 10 seconds whereas deciding what to say.
“Honestly, I would probably say I’m disappointed,” Embiid stated. “I’m disappointed that we’re in this situation. … I’m just disappointed he’s not here, because he knows it, too. He knows we can win together.”
His tone, nevertheless, was markedly totally different later that week after a report in The Athletic acknowledged Simmons did not consider he and Embiid may win collectively. “The situation is disappointing, borderline kind of disrespectful to all the guys that are out here fighting for their lives,” Embiid advised reporters.
“It was kind of surprising to see. … We got rid of Jimmy [Butler], which I still think was a mistake, just to make sure [Simmons] needed the ball in his hands. That’s the decision they made.”
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst contributed to this story.