The trade market for Ben Simmons appears to be drying up around the NBA the closer the calendar creeps toward September 28. That’s the date when teams start reporting to training camp.
The two biggest suitors in the mix to land the Philadelphia 76ers star remain the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves, according to multiple reports. Meanwhile, Simmons is rumored to be interested in heading west toward California. None of it matters if the Sixers refuse to unload the three-time All-Star.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Simmons has let the Philly front office know that he doesn’t care if they get less than what they want back in a trade. Vice versa, the Sixers have made it clear they have no intentions on giving Simmons away for the price of a Chevy. The organization still views and values him as a Porsche.
He explained the very sticky situation on “The Jump”:
One of the message that Ben has sent back towards Philly is that it’s not his job to fix his trade value. It’s not his job to correct his trade value or raise his trade value. That is not something that is on the menu for him. And so with that out there, I don’t think he’s interested in coming in and trying to change the situation.
Windhorst added one more interesting nugget: Simmons is owed half of his 2021 salary – $16.5 million – by October 1. Why is that important? Because it was previously reported that the the sum of his $33 million wasn’t due until November 15. That means Simmons has a lot more leverage now if he wants to play the waiting game.
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Simmons Wanted Formal Apology From Sixers
Professional athletes tend to have oversized egos, but Simmons’ pettiness is off the charts. According to The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, the Sixers star is upset at team president Daryl Morey and head coach Doc Rivers for two separate incidents.
Simmons felt he was lied to last year when Morey told him he wasn’t on the trading block, then reports leaked that the Sixers had included Simmons in a trade for James Harden. The second slight, in Simmons’ mind, occurred when Rivers “threw him under the bus” and refused to call him a championship-caliber point guard. Never mind that Rivers had defended Simmons in the press all year.
Joel Embiid Logging Midnight Minutes
Sixers All-Star center Joel Embiid has largely tried to stay out of the offseason drama – although the MVP runner-up did throw his support behind Simmons on Twitter – and get back to the business of basketball. The 7-footer was spotted in the gym earlier this week with famed NBA trainer Drew Hanlen.
There was no accompanying video to see exactly what the two were working on. In the picture, Hanlen and Embiid appear to be reviewing game film. Hanlen also shared an Instagram shot showing the clock inside the Sixers’ practice facility reading 11:51 p.m. Get that late night work in, JoJo!