After the Golden State Warriors were punished by the NBA for the team owner’s comments on pursuing a trade for Ben Simmons, Steph Curry took a very careful approach to the topic.
Curry was asked about whether the team could pursue Simmons, who is reportedly estranged from the Philadelphia 76ers and demanding a trade. The Warriors have been named as a potential landing spot for the three-time NBA All-Star in the past amid reports that Simmons likes the idea of playing in California, but Curry wasn’t revealing much with his cryptic comments this week.
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Curry Open to Looking at Simmons
Appearing on the “Brother from Another” podcast this week, Curry was asked about whether the Warriors should make a run at Simmons. He offered what seemed to be a cryptic response, saying only that the team should be jumping into those conversations.
“If you’re not having those conversations, then you’re not trying,” Curry said. “Let’s put it that way.”
The reply gave no new insight as to whether the Warriors was interested in pursuing Simmons, though team owner Joe Lacob offered a more illustrative answer to that questions earlier in the week — one that landed him in some hot water with the NBA. Speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Rusty Simmons, Lacob said that Ben Simmons would be a redundant addition to the Warriors roster, and an expensive one at that.
“In some ways, it doesn’t really fit what we’re doing,” Lacob said. “He makes a lot of money. And, can he finish games? I don’t know. He’s very talented. The problem is: We have Draymond. Draymond and him are very similar in the sense that neither one really shoots and they do a lot of the playmaking. That’s one issue. The salary structure is another.”
The comment earned Lacob and the Warriors a $50,000 league fine for tampering.
Warriors Turned Down Sixers
There had been rumors earlier this year that the Warriors could be interested in Simmons, though the talks never got very far. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported back in July that the Sixers asked for Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, and four first-rounders in exchange for Simmons. The Warriors found the asking price too high and rejected the offer, and one executive told Pompey that Philadelphia was making “totally outlandish offers” for their star player.
The relationship between Simmons and the Sixers has only gotten worse since then. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Simmons made it clear that he wanted nothing to do with the team.
“Philadelphia 76ers players wanted to travel to Los Angeles this week to meet with Ben Simmons and spend time convincing their All-Star teammate to commit to the 2021-22 season with them, but they were informed not to come and that Simmons did not want to meet,” Charania reported.
Charania added that Simmons was mentally checked out, so that even if the team could find a way to compel him to play against this season, he may not be the same “dedicated player” he had been in the past.