“This is digging up the ax. If this was not already a war, this is the official declaration of war. And this closes any door that could be left open to understanding and Simmons joining the Sixers discipline. ” This was said by ESPN journalist Brian Windhorst after Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer launched the latest barrage of the Ben Simmons case yesterday, which is reaching recent unprecedented heights in franchise-star relationships: The Sixers were supposed to have paid 25% of Simmons’ salary by October 1 but decided against it.. Instead, the money (ESPN information) went to an account as a reserve where it will serve as a deposit to collect the fines that the player receives. The Sixers play their first preseason game in Toronto on Monday. It will be the first in which, if he is not (and will not be) Simmons will stop charging $ 227,613. This is how it will be from now on with every game that the Australian does not appear for.
Although Fischer assured that this measure by the Sixers opened the door for Simmons to return to the bosom of the franchise to be with the team but without playing or training, claiming an alleged injury, this option for at least distant. Shams Charania (.) rejected it and assured that Simmons will continue with his current position, separated from the Sixers (even geographically, he is in Los Angeles) and that he is fully aware of the “ramifications” of his decision and the punishment he may face. Ramona Shelburne (ESPN) quotes sources close to the player: “We are in this with our mind set on the long term.” Resist to force his exit from the Sixers. Simmons believes that eventually, via transfer or another type of agreement, he will receive the money that he is now going to stop collecting.
In fact, when the franchise and player spoke last month, this possibility was already considered, so it was on the table as 1-O approached. But Ben Simmons follows convinced that the way to accelerate his departure from Philadelphia is to stay away from a team on its way to training camp week. A three-time all-star and not long ago a rising superstar, Simmons (25) has fallen out of favor after the last few playoffs. He is an exceptional defender and a brilliant player in transition and as a passer, but his insecurity in attack and his inability to develop a viable jump shot have limited him, technically and mentally, and the bill has been very high. After losing Game 7 of the East semi-finals, at home and against some Hawks who were arriving as victims, both Doc Rivers and Joel Embiid, the team’s superstar, pointed to Simmons in the media. Divorce was served. The Australian has leaked in recent days that he needs a change of scenery and that his union with Embiid has already given everything he had to give: they need to separate to be better. Both. Or so he thinks.
The problem, and the difference from situations like James Harden’s a year ago, is that Simmons’ shares are rocky. Basically, nobody wants to risk making a trade, not in the conditions that the Sixers demand. Philadelphia boss Daryl Morey would like a superstar return, but Simmons has lost that status. Almost, even, now also the star. Nobody bids for him, nobody makes a powerful offer, and the Sixers preferred to start the season like that and see if things were going well and Simmons improved the last seen of him (the series against the Hawks) to relocate a little cache sunken. Nothing to do with what, on paper, a team should be able to draw for a 25-year-old three-time all-star who last season was one of the Defender of the Year contenders. In the summer of 2019, Simmons signed an extension to his five-year, nearly $ 177 million rookie contract. This season is the second he has played under that new contract, and he should earn just over $ 33 million.
In fact, the structure of his contract helped him to rebel: he is stipulated to receive 50% before October 1, which ensured him a succulent loot before the truly ugly battles with the Sixers could begin (now), in the start of the preseason. On August 2 he already took 25% but the second batch of that percentage, the one that had to arrive now, has gone to that fund created by the Sixers to recover what the player is going to deliver for not playing. His contract is another of the problems for a transfer, of course: after the 33 million this season he is guaranteed 35.4 in the 2022-23 season, 37.8 the next and 40.3 in the 2024-25.
Things are going to get uglier and uglier. First, because there is no solution in sight. Basically, nobody wants Simmons. And less now: everyone knows the Sixers will drop their claims drastically as the situation becomes more untenable. A team executive confirmed to Fischer that right now there are no movements on this front: “The only place where you think of a Simmons transfer is in Philadelphia.” But the trickle of news, rumors and questions in the press appearances, the day-to-day of the team now that the season is underway, is going to dramatically affect the stability and the work of the Sixers, a reality that already made Embiid jump in his last step through the microphones: “This is a disappointment, it borders on disrespect for the boys who are here fighting for their lives. My feeling is that this team has been built, either due to the arrival of shooters or the need for the interiors to pull on the outside, thinking about it, about its needs. That’s why we signed Al Horford, that’s why we got rid of Jimmy Butler, which seemed like a mistake to me and it was so Simmons could get more of the ball in his hands. So now this is surprising. “
The barrage is tremendous. And to the discomfort of the Sixers we must add that the rest of the franchises watch the events carefully. The last thing they want is for Simmons to get away with it. and set the example among the stars and the players with big NBA contracts, that the appropriate one is believed in which one in the second year of a contract of five can simply stop showing up to the activities of the team to force a transfer according to their conditions. So yes: it’s war and things are going to get uglier every time.