Sixers Star Ben Simmons Rejected Simple Daryl Morey Request: Report

Ben Simmons, Sixers

Getty Ben Simmons, Sixers

Surely, we are all a bit weary of the Ben Simmons saga by this time. Yet it drags on, with the latest twist being the Sixers star’s efforts to get himself into a proper headspace before taking the floor. According to NBA reporter Shams Charania of The Athletic, Simmons was approached by Sixers president Daryl Morey about returning to play and Simmons’ reaction was not exactly what Philly fans had in mind.

According to Charania: “Simmons restated that he is not yet mentally ready to play and is continuing to seek professional help. There’s no timetable on Simmons’ return to the floor.”

This comes a day after an report that noted the Sixers are “increasingly frustrated” with Simmons’ unwillingness to utilize team doctors and other assistance when it comes to addressing his mental fitness. Simmons has, according to the site, gone to Sixers doctors for help with a back problem, but not for mental-health help, for which he has only sought help through the players association.

Basically, Simmons is saying he is not mentally ready to return to the court while, at the same time, telling the Sixers he won’t talk to anyone in the organization about that mental readiness.

NBA Today | Woj reports: Ben Simmons does not accept help 76ers offering himNBA Today | Woj reports: Ben Simmons does not accept help 76ers offering him2021-11-03T20:01:43Z

Sixers Fans Feel Team’s Frustration

Given the context of Simmons’ situation—he was a training-camp holdout demanding a trade until the Sixers began fining him, nearly $2 million in total—the frustration is understandable. Simmons brought the situation on himself, so the fault for any mental anguish caused by his holdout appears to lie with him.

And that frustration is largely shared by Sixers fans.

“He’s really gonna keep using this as an excuse?” one wrote, indicating Simmons was not being genuine about his mental health issues. “Making a mockery of people that actually are going through things.”

“He has zero intention of playing and the Sixers are gonna call him on it this week,” one wrote, almost hopefully. “If he refuses to provide details of his treatment plan, I suspect they’ll suspend him.”

Another summed up the feelings of most of us: “Can we get this over with already?”

Until Simmons Plays, a Trade is Unlikely

The Sixers remain in a bind with Simmons, who still wants to be traded from the team. But if the Sixers attempt to trade Simmons now, as a guy who clearly wants out and one who has entirely burnt the bridge between himself and the organization, they will surely be lowballed. Philly would be willing to deal Simmons if Morey could get what he sees as fair value.

But who is going to give him fair value for a player who is among the most disgruntled in modern NBA memory? Indeed, even the teams trying to lowball the Sixers seem to have moved on. Darren Wolfson, of KTSP in Minneapolis, reported on his podcast that the Wolves—believed to be among the most ardent pursuers of Simmons—have not shown much interest in Simmons lately.

“Sachin Gupta has not even reached out to Philadelphia about Ben Simmons for a couple of weeks,” Wolfson said. “Yes, about three and a half, four weeks ago he did plant the seed with the Philadelphia front office that, ‘Yeah, I’m interested in Ben Simmons,’ but I’m now told he hasn’t had any dialogue about Ben Simmons with Philadelphia for a couple weeks.”

That is going to be typical of the Simmons situation for the foreseeable future, especially if he keeps insisting he is not mentally ready to get back on the floor. The only way Simmons can restore his value as a player is actually play. But, frustratingly, the Sixers have no idea when that will be.

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