Report: Ben Simmons informs 76ers he wants out
The Philadelphia 76ers have insisted they are open to keeping Ben Simmons this offseason, but the feeling apparently is not mutual.
Simmons informed the Sixers last week that he wants to be traded, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The former first overall pick formally requested a trade in a meeting with team owner Josh Harris, president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, general manager Elton Brand and head coach Doc Rivers. Simmons also said he does not intend to show up to training camp.
One Western Conference executive told Pompey that Simmons wants to play on the West Coast. The same exec said there is “so much bad blood between (Simmons) and the team.”
The news is hardly a surprise. Simmons has reportedly been ghosting the 76ers all offseason. Philadelphia is almost certainly open to trading him, but they are trying to salvage as much leverage as possible. They have even less now that rival teams know Simmons has informed them he will not report this summer.
The feeling around the NBA is that it is only a matter of time before Simmons is traded. However, the Sixers have attached a very high asking price to a player who was a complete offensive liability in the postseason.
Ideally, the 76ers want to land a star player and draft picks in exchange for Simmons. They’ve had their eye on one player in particular, but that player does not appear to be available.
It sounds inevitable that Simmons will be traded. But with $177.2 million on his contract and coming off a painfully unreliable playoff performance, the Sixers may have to adjust their expectations of the return.