The animosity between Klutch Sports and the Philadelphia 76ers has been well-documented. Now there is a new report out there claiming the Sixers have offered a simple solution on to how to fix their Ben Simmons’ problem: fire the agency.
According to Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice, a team source told him that getting rid of super-agent Rich Paul would “rectify what some view as a self-created problem.” If Simmons reversed course, everyone could live in perfect harmony.
That seems to be wishful thinking, but it’s interesting to finally hear from the Sixers’ organization. The rumors leaking out over the past three months have mostly been from Simmons’ camp. Head coach Doc Rivers and team president Daryl Morey both have been quiet since the team’s frustrating playoff loss.
Players and coaches are due to report to training camp on Sept. 27 for Sixers Media Day, followed by the first organized practice on Sept. 28. Simmons, via ESPN’s Adrian Wojanarowski, isn’t planning to show up. He has no desire to ever put on a Sixers uniform again. It’s a strategy being forced on the three-time All-Star from Klutch Sports, per Neubeck.
Ben Simmons does not want to be in Philadelphia anymore, has communicated that throughout the offseason, and is expected to make that even more obvious than it already is when camp opens next week.
“He has said he wants to go,” a source said. “Ben doesn’t want to be here…but there’s a lot of things we want too.”
The Sixers are expecting at least some sort of absence to open the preseason, sources say, though most are convinced he will eventually show up, citing a lack of precedent for extended holdouts in the NBA.
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Simmons’ Agent: ‘We Want Out’
ESPN’s Jay Williams appeared on the “Bart & Hahn Show” in New York where he revealed details about a recent conversation he had with Rich Paul. Simmons’ agent was adamant that they wanted a trade out of Philadelphia. There is nothing to fix. The relationship is over.
Williams said: “Rich Paul was the one who told me, ‘We want out. We want out and we’ll go to whatever degree we have to go to to get out. We want to be anywhere but in Philadelphia.'”
Williams went on to compare Simmons to Sam Darnold, the former New York Jets quarterback who was jettisoned to the Carolina Panthers. His reasoning was that maybe Simmons just needs a change of scenery and a new coaching staff who can better maximize his talents.
“I do feel like the way they utilize Ben in Philadelphia, it’s not his position,” Williams said. “He is more of a small power forward guy that can take the ball and push it down the court. And I think that is his optimal position.”
Stephen A. Smith Calls Out Simmons
ESPN loud-mouth sports talker Stephen A. Smith put Simmons on blast during a video segment earlier this week. He cautioned any team trading for the former No. 1 overall pick that they would be getting a “good player but not one doing what is required to be great.” The comment echoed those made by Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley.
Smith added that all Simmons had to do was develop a free-throw shot (not a jumper) and he would average 25 points per game. “That’s how gifted he is,” said Smith. Unfortunately, Simmons doesn’t seem willing to do it.