Ben Simmons Ready to Sit Out, Call Sixers’ Bluff: Report

Ben Simmons

Getty Sixers All-Star Ben Simmons can cash in on $16.5 million if he's on the Philly roster after Oct. 1.

Two days into Philadelphia 76ers’ training camp and there is still no resolution in the messy situation around Ben Simmons. The disgruntled point guard wants to be traded. The Sixers want him to report to work.

Team president Daryl Morey expressed tepid confidence that Simmons would return. Ditto head coach Doc Rivers. His teammates also poured on thick about how much they missed the Defensive Player of the Year runner-up. It’s all a huge misunderstanding that everyone wants solved. Meanwhile, Simmons remains in California.

According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Simmons is prepared to “sit as long as it takes” and if it’s all season so be it. The Sixers will likely suspend him and start fining him in the coming days. Neither side appears ready to back down from their respective stances. Shelburne said the following on “The Jump”:

I talked to somebody close to Ben the other day, and they said, ‘What is the purpose of him showing up at this point? Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, is he going to be the same guy he was for you in the past few years? Ben Simmons is willing to sit as long as it takes, too. When you talk to people close to Ben, and I say, ‘Worse case scenario it takes all year, will he sit all year?’ And the answer right now is, ‘Yes.’

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Morey Confirms Simmons Asked for Trade

Morey told reporters at Sixers’ Media Day that he expects Simmons to be a 76er this season. Prior to saying that, the savvy front-office executive did confirm a report that the star player asked for a trade. That conversation happened shortly after the NBA Combine in Chicago, via Simmons’ representatives.

“They came to us and asked for a trade shortly after the season through his representatives in Chicago,” Morey told reporters. “We were not looking to trade him – to coach’s point, multi-time All-Star, Defensive Player of the Year – we are on the doorstep [of a championship], like many teams. Look, every team goes through its own journey.

“Ben’s a very good player, a big part of this team, we’re disappointed he’s not here. We’re making our choices. But we’re excited, very excited, about the players who are here and we’re going to focus on them. And we’re taking our journey of being a championship team and we don’t know exactly what that will be.”

Joel Embiid Ready to Move Forward

All-Star center Joel Embiid would prefer to have Simmons on the floor with him. He has had private conversations with the star guard, trying to bury the hatchet and convince him to come home. No dice. Embiid is still holding out hope that Simmons comes to his senses. If not, he’s ready to move on.

“It doesn’t matter who is on the floor with me,” Embiid told reporters. “I’ve always managed to be the anchor of the defense. I have aspirations to be the Defensive Player of the Year. For me, I think I just need to be more active. And it’s hard to do because, offensively, I’m actually also doing a lot and I don’t mind. I love it, you know, I love carrying the team on both ends and I think that’s what probably makes me special.”

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