PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Ben Simmons situation got even more ugly on Saturday. According to The Athletic, Philadelphia 76ers teammates wanted to travel to Los Angeles to meet Simmons with hopes to convince him to commit to the Sixers for the 2021-22 season, but they were told not to come and that Simmons did not want to meet.
Sources: Philadelphia 76ers players wanted to take a jet to Los Angeles this week to meet with Ben Simmons, but were informed not to come and that the three-time All-Star did not want to meet.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 25, 2021
Here’s part of what The Athletic reported:
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The core leaders on the 76ers — such as Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris and Matisse Thybulle — and most of the team were set to take a jet to see Simmons before being turned away, sources said. Multiple sources said Simmons didn’t want his teammates, some of whom he considers friends, to make the Philadelphia-to-Los Angeles commute out of courtesy because he won’t change his mind on wanting a trade.
Ouch. Shams Charania of The Athletic did write that he didn’t want them to commute “out of courtesy,” but optics-wise, it’s still not a good look for Simmons in a situation that continues to get messier and messier by the day.
The Sixers training camp starts next week, with Media Day on Monday, but Simmons reportedly isn’t going to show up, at least for the start of camp. The Athletic also reported that Simmons “has mentally checked out as a member of the 76ers, sources said, meaning whether or not he ever appears in Philadelphia this season the organization may never again receive the same dedicated player.”
If Simmons doesn’t show up for training camp, there will be potential financial implications of him sitting out.READ MORE: Doctor Accused Of Hoarding Dead Kittens In Her Freezer
Simmons has four years and $147 million left on his contract, including $33 million for this upcoming season.
The Sixers have been trying to trade the three-time All-Star guard since their season ended in a disappointing fashion in the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks. And even before that, Simmons was nearly dealt for former MVP James Harden, who ended up going to the Brooklyn Nets.
But the Sixers haven’t been able to find a deal that works for them during the summer. Teams like the Minnesota Timberwolves, Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Cavaliers, and San Antonio Spurs, among others, have shown interest, but Daryl Morey, the president of basketball operations, hasn’t budged and won’t do so until the Sixers receive what he believes to be the correct value.
Simmons played poorly in the Sixers’ second-round series against the Hawks. He averaged 9.9 points, 8.6 assists, and 6.3 rebounds per game in the series. Simmons also shot 60% from the field and went 15 for 45, or 33% from the free-throw line.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Police Searching For Shafeeq Lewis, Accused Of Fatally Shooting 13-Year-Old Boy On Way To School