The NBA announced on September 22 that Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob had been fined a cool $50,000 for violating the league’s anti-tampering rule. Lacob’s fine came as a result of remarks he had made about Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons.
Simmons — who is not expected to report to Sixers training camp and has seemingly closed the book on playing another game for the team — has been linked to the Warriors in trade chatter.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, Golden State rejected an offer that would have seen Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, picks Nos. 7 and 14 in the 2021 NBA draft, as well as two future first-round selections, heading Eastward in exchange for the three-time All-Star.
Even as he was hit for tampering, though, Lacob’s remarks seemingly cast doubt upon the notion that his team is considering a play for Simmons.
Lacob: Simmons ‘Doesn’t Really Fit’
The disciplinary action taken by the league was prompted by statements made by the Warriors owner that were published in the San Francisco Chronicle. In a Tuesday interview with the outlet, Lacob referenced a certain “Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Philadelphia.”
“I think we are always looking at everything to see if we can improve our team. We would always look,” he added while being careful not to mention Simmons by name. Clearly, though, the league office wasn’t buying his attempt at subterfuge.
At any rate, Lacob went on to question Simmons’ fit with the Warriors, citing crossover with big man Draymond Green.
“In some ways, it doesn’t really fit what we’re doing. He makes a lot of money. And, can he finish games? I don’t know,” Lacob said. “He’s very talented. The problem is: We have Draymond. Draymond and him are very similar in the sense that neither one really shoots and they do a lot of the playmaking. That’s one issue. The salary structure is another.”
Simmons is set to rake in more than $33 million next season and an additional $113-plus million over the three seasons that follow 2021-22.
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Simmons May Covet a Move to the Bay Area
Regardless of what Lacob actually said on the matter, anything linking Simmons to the Dubs is probably worth monitoring for the Philly faithful. After all, Golden State could very well be one of the former No. 1 overall pick’s preferred landing spots.
In late August, Pompey quoted a source saying that Simmons had been eyeing a move to one of three California teams. There are, of course, four teams in the state — the LA Lakers, LA Clippers, the Warriors and the Sacramento Kings. While no specifics were given about the odd team out, the Kings are very clearly multiple rungs below the other clubs in a multitude of areas.