Believe it or not, NBA teams start reporting to training camp already next week with the regular season about a month away. However, one All-Star who will not report to camp with his current team is Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons. This was rumored all summer but it’s now official that Simmons is 100 percent done with the Sixers and is willing to accept any fines, etc., until he is traded. Mybookie has an NBA special on Simmons’ next team with the San Antonio Spurs as +250 favorites on the NBA odds.
Ben Simmons Officially Will Not Report To 76ers CampSixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey and coach Doc Rivers have told Simmons that they want him in training camp and on the floor to partner with All-NBA center Joel Embiid — something that Simmons has told them he no longer wants to do. Simmons has four years and $147 million left on his max contract. Any trade would have to nearly match salaries, although just for this coming season.
From the beginning, Morey has made it clear he is not selling low on Simmons. Despite his stock taking a hit after the playoffs, Morey wants an All-Star caliber player in return for a trade to get done.
The Sixers are expecting at least some sort of absence to open the preseason, though most are convinced he will eventually show up, citing a lack of precedent for extended holdouts in the NBA. Simmons could be looking at substantial fines. He has made an All-Star game three times in his career. He has been an All-NBA member, and he has made two All-Defensive first teams in his career.
His trade request came following a disastrous second-round loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the 2021 playoffs, a series in which Simmons averaged just 9.9 points per game and shot 33.3% from the field. Simmons attempted 14 shots in the final three games of the series, and his reticence to shoot drew criticism from Embiid. Simmons hasn’t spoken to the team since a meeting in late August when he communicated this message to officials.
Interesting that the Spurs are favorites to land Simmons. One of the most common trade proposals has been for the Spurs to send both Dejounte Murray and Derrick White to Philadelphia for Simmons. However, the Spurs have given no inclination they are willing to do that.
That said, with their 2021 first-round pick, the Spurs selected guard Joshua Primo out of Alabama. Primo was the youngest prospect in this year’s draft class and plays the same position as Murray and White. The Spurs are somewhat stuck in the middle trying to decide what direction they want to take. Based on their moves this offseason, they don’t seem to know which way they want to go either. None of their veteran free agents, DeMar DeRozan, Patty Mills, and Rudy Gay, re-signed.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are +375 second favorites to be Simmons’ next team. Minnesota has been actively chasing Simmons this summer but might have to find a third team because Philadelphia doesn’t want D’Angelo Russell and the Wolves won’t give up 2020 No. 1 overall pick Anthony Edwards. Russell produced mixed results during an injury-riddled 2020-21 campaign, averaging 19.0 points and 5.8 assists in 42 games.
Simmons reportedly wants to play in California, but he really has no leverage. The Sacramento Kings are +1000 to land him and the Golden State Warriors +1500. One rumor regarding the Kings is Simmons to Sacramento for Buddy Hield, rookie Davion Mitchell, a 2023 first-round pick swap, a 2024 first-round pick, a 2025 first-round pick swap and a 2026 first-round pick.
Ahead of the 2021 NBA Draft, Morey reportedly asked the Warriors for James Wiseman, Andrew Wiggins, the No. 7 and No. 14 overall picks and two future first-round picks. That was the end of that conversation for the Warriors. The sides reportedly haven’t talked since. Golden State’s front office reportedly is divided on how Simmons would fit on the Warriors.
- Simmons lands in Minnesota