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Around the Realm: Philadelphia 76ers won’t pay Ben Simmons, Simmons still holding out

Neither side is budging in an ugly standoff.

October 1st was supposed to mark a significant date in the ongoing Ben Simmons-Philadephia 76ers standoff that has been escalating for months. As a part of his rookie extension, Simmons' contract dictated that he would be paid 25% of his contract at the close of business on Friday afternoon; however, as reported by Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report and confirmed by Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Sixers are withholding that $8.25 million payment today.

While that sort of decision would seem to go beyond the bounds of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, according to Fischer, NBA and union officials are reportedly on board with the Sixers' plan, as Simmons is not currently fulfilling the terms of his contract:

"Philadelphia views Simmons’ refusal to report to training camp as not fulfilling the terms of his contract. In dialogue with league-office personnel and players union officials, the Sixers appear to be within their rights to withhold that lucrative check."

Of course, that's not the final shot that's been fired in today's salvo between Simmons' camp and Sixers General Manager Daryl Morey. With that huge payday at risk, as well as additional fines undoubtedly on the horizon, the former All-Star may choose to report to camp, albeit with a myriad of mysterious back and knee injuries from previous surgeries. And if he chooses to simply sit at home, Simmons' agent, Rich Paul, has made it clear that his client is more than willing to eat whatever paychecks are necessary to get him out of Philly.

It seems as though this situation will continue to devolve until the Sixers capitulate and find a new home and a new jersey for Simmons.

From a league-wide, future-thinking perspective, the antics of both Simmons and the Sixers will likely have repercussions this season and beyond. If Simmons continues to hold out, he may very well file a grievance to get the cash from his October 1st payday, miring the league, the union, and the Sixers in a mediator-run debate. And when the NBA's CBA expires in a couple of years, both the players' union and team owners will want to protect themselves from this sort of mess in the future, which could become a sticking point in negotiations.

The good news for the Sacramento Kings, and any other team interested in Simmons' services, is that the uglier things get, the more urgent a trade becomes, even if Daryl Morey is still pretending otherwise. Philadelphia cannot afford to waste a quarter or half of a season of Joel Embiid's healthy prime, and getting in players and assets before the start of the regular season is undoubtedly on the mind of Sixers management. An All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year candidate like Simmons still won't come at clearance-level prices, but his cost does continue to lower little by little as things become more desperate in Philadelphia.

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GrandCanyonFunyun
October 1, 2021 12:56 pm

Morey really put his team in a bad situation by trying to strong hold for more more more. There’s a fine line between wanting to maximize value and being ridiculous.

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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
October 1, 2021 1:22 pm

Ben is definitely the ever growing elephant in the room for the 76ers and will be the lead topic of discussion until he is moved. It has to be a major distraction for the team and the Philly media is only going to make matters worse. Morey has painted himself into a corner.

Socalpurplecurse
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October 1, 2021 3:28 pm

Yeah Morey had a bad ending to his Rockets teams didnt exactly leave them in high standing, he had a good run but def seems like the Doc Rivers of GMs a bit overrated and not quite the superstar everyone thinks they are. Its quite embarrassing at this point, Players run the NBA its old news, he gave them the respect of a face to face meeting to give them an opportunity to maximize return, had he done that before all the drama stuff got out he would have traded him when his Value was at his highest, thinking hed elevate his value by trashing his name further is quite stupid and now their superstar Center trashes him every other day.

andy_sims
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October 1, 2021 5:07 pm

Let’s call things as they are. Morey may have unreasonable ideas about what he can expect as a return if Simmons is moved, but it was Ben Simmons alone who put the team and organization in a bad situation.

Most players at that level run hard into a wall like that, and they let it motivate them to find a way over, around, or through it. Not Ben Simmons.

NorCalKingsFan
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October 1, 2021 5:32 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I think you’re downplaying the fact the coach and best player laid their playoff loss directly at his feet. They acted like complete cowards during that press post game press conference, as if they only lost because he didn’t dunk on that one play. So while I wouldn’t blame Morey for anything other than BS trade demands, the 76ers as an organization are responsible for this.

andy_sims
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