The matchup between Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers continues, with the three-time All-Star committed to forcing a trade to a new team.
The Aussie, who has yet to play a game for the 76ers this season and continues to rack up millions of dollars in fines from missed games and practices, is reportedly “open” to sitting out the season if they don’t send him to a new team. for the February 10 trade deadline, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
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“I think the point is that if it takes the whole season to trade him, if it takes the Sixers all year to find a trade that’s acceptable to them, he’s up for it,” Shelburne said on ESPN’s NBA Today.
“It sounds incredible to think that a guy who is still being fined for every game, for every practice, for every weightlifting session that he is missing, as of the January 15th paycheck he received, is still being heavily fined. fines.
“It’s okay if it goes the whole season, if that’s the case.”
— 𝙏𝙖𝙡𝙠𝙞𝙣’ 𝙉𝘽𝘼 🗣️ (@_Talkin_NBA) January 17, 2022
Simmons, who requested a trade over the summer, reportedly told the 76ers before the season that he had no intention of continuing to play for the franchise, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. While the 25-year-old finally returned to the team facility in October, he hasn’t been a part of the squad this season.
The 76ers initially made it clear they wanted an “All-Star caliber” player in exchange for Simmons, however, so far teams have been unwilling to meet his high asking price. That could change in the coming weeks, with The Athletic’s Sam Amick recently saying on The Gastroenteritis Blues Podcast that every team he’s talked to believes a Simmons deal will be completed before the deadline.
“To the question of ‘Will the deal close before the deadline?’ For whatever reason, the mood among all the teams I’ve talked to is that the answer is probably yes, that something will probably happen before the deadline.” – @sam_amic in the last @GastroBluesPod https://t.co/PQhAbX9CbW
— The sadness of gastroenteritis (@GastroBluesPod) January 16, 2022
The 76ers, led by Joel Embiid’s dominant play, got by without Simmons this season, using Tyrese Maxey and Seth Curry as their primary playmakers. They currently sit sixth in the Eastern Conference standings (25-18), and the 7-foot center believes the franchise has “everything we need here,” as he said after their recent win over the Miami Heat.
In recent weeks, several teams have shown interest in Simmons, and the Sacramento Kings are exploring a possible deal with De’Aaron Fox, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes. However, he described it as “exploratory due diligence”.
Meanwhile, NBA reporter Marc Stein has reported that 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey may look to hold on to Simmons through the summer in hopes of striking a sign-and-trade deal to meet with him. Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden, who is reportedly open to relocation in the summer. Harden has a $47.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season.
Simmons is under contract with the 76ers through 2024-25 after signing a five-year, $177.2 million deal in 2019.