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Around The Realm: Ben Simmons is refusing to play for the Sixers

This news isn't exactly shocking.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Philadelphia Sixers forward Ben Simmons will not report to camp, nor will he play another game for the franchise:

A holdout from Simmons would be unprecedented from a player making his level of salary. According to Spotrac, any player refusing to report can be fined up to 1/145th of his base salary, which would be $227,613 per day for the former All-Star, but Simmons seems comfortable making that financial sacrifice to force his way out of Philadelphia.

This news should come as no surprise to anyone who's paid attention to the Simmons-Sixers saga over the last several months. Both star Center Joel Embiid and Head Coach Doc Rivers threw Simmons under the bus after their Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals in June, and those harsh words, and no apologies since, have seemingly severed any loyalty that Simmons might have felt toward the franchise. The message has always been relatively clear that the All-Star had no wish to return to Philadelphia, but this report from his representation is a significant change from a rumor to a fact.

This announcement also works to shift the pressure from the teams hoping to acquire Simmons' services to the 76ers, as everyone knows they cannot afford to waste even a portion of a healthy, in-prime Joel Embiid season. Getting their new pieces in from a Simmons trade, whatever those end up being, before camp and before the regular season starts, will be key to their success heading into the 2021 campaign.

Of course, Simmons' inevitably reduced value, at least from the perspective of Morey's ridiculous demands earlier in the summer, does not necessarily equate to a clearance-level deal. Ben Simmons is still an All-Star caliber guard, and he's one of the best defenders in the entirety of the NBA. The heavy interest from multiple teams will keep his trade value afloat, to a certain degree, and whichever team ends up with Simmons wearing their jersey will have stepped up and made a significant offer when all is said and done. If the Kings want to get and stay in the mix, they'll need to move away from the Marvin Bagley's and Buddy Hield's of the world, and start looking at assets in the Davion Mitchell and first round picks range. That's their only path to Monte McNair's dream of pairing De'Aaron Fox and Ben Simmons.

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Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
September 21, 2021 10:57 am

If this stretches into the season, who gets hurt more by Simmons not playing, Simmons’ pocket book or the 76ers record and chemistry? Basically who flinches first?

MichaelMack
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September 21, 2021 11:19 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I can see the Sixers wanting to play hardball, but it seems like too much of a distraction to let it get into the season where they expect to go deep into the playoffs, it will be the only topic of conversation. I think Morey will accept Brogdon&Warren or whatever the equivalent is. At some point this hurts them more than it hurts Simmons, in my eyes.

What do you think?

Henry
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September 21, 2021 11:25 am
Reply to  MichaelMack

Yea if they have sights on finals it would be malpractice to go into camp with this cloud hanging over it. I get the game Morey is playing but at this point he needs to call every interested team and tell them to make their final best offer. Let the teams try to outbid each other, then take the best package. This ridiculous game of chicken is unnecessary at this point.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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September 21, 2021 11:46 am
Reply to  MichaelMack

I agree. Ben can literally afford to sit, but the Philly market, press, fans, etc, will make it a major distraction and would likely turn on Morey quickly for messing things up. He blinks first.

I too think Indy has the pieces to make it happen, but I also think Morey would prefer to send Simmons west. How embarrassing would it be to see a Simmons led Indy team take out a Philly team in the playoffs?

MichaelMack
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