Ben Simmons won’t report to Philadelphia 76ers training camp next week, assuming recent reports are true. The Sixers won’t trade the three-time All-Star for pennies on the dollar, preferring to play a game of cat and mouse.
Simmons was thought to be facing hefty fines and possible suspension if he failed to show, up to $1.3 million (via ESPN’s Bobby Marks). That’s not the case, though. Simmons’ contract is structured in a way where half of his $33 million base salary for next season will be doled out by Oct. 1. He was given one $8.25 million paycheck on Aug. 1 and is due another $8.25 million paycheck on Oct. 1.
According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, the Sixers can’t start docking Simmons money until November and he’ll already have received $16.5 million by that point. Would NBA commissioner Adam Silver intervene on behalf of Philly? Stein doesn’t think Silver will step in, but he cited several league sources who think he might. He wrote the following:
Would Commissioner Adam Silver go beyond exerting mere backchannel pressure on Simmons to report and step in to sanction him if he doesn’t? Several league insiders think so, but I’m not so sure. While true that the NBA dreads the idea of training camp holdouts coming back into vogue, like we saw in the early 1990s before the advent of rookie-scale contracts, intervention from the league is not always instant when discipline can come from the team first. The onus will be on the Sixers first to impose fines or a suspension.
The latest Sixers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Sixers newsletter here!
Ben Simmons Appears to Troll John Wall
One trade scenario being floated out there is swapping Simmons for John Wall. The Houston Rockets are trying to trade their All-Star guard and get his insane contract off the books. While Wall would serve as a plug-and-play starter for the Sixers, it doesn’t make a ton of sense. Especially not after the summer Tyrese Maxey had.
Coincidentally, Simmons is working out with Wall as the two look to stay in shape prior to camp. The Sixers star recently posted a video of a shirtless Wall (via Adam Hermann) and accompanied it with a hearty chuckle. Was he trolling Wall? It appears so.
Sixers Fans Planning to Boo Simmons
Jason Dumas of Kron4 News is reporting that part of the reason for Simmons skipping camp is to avoid rowdy Sixers fans from booing him. There are several groups planning to make the trek over to Camden, NJ to show the disgruntled star some “brotherly love.” Simmons wants no part of it.
One teammate, Danny Green, went on record back in July with comments pertaining to Sixers fans and how they should treat Simmons. Green disagreed with booing and urged the Philly faithful to stick by him.
“I think they need to stick by him, as long as they can, until the horn blows,” Green told John Clark of NBC Sports. “Even then, he’s here. He’s given so much to this organization to the city, on and off the court, that he deserves that respect and that support. I hope that worm turns for him and for the city of Philly to where they don’t have that mantra as fans of being cold rough and one of the worst in the league.”