Philadelphia 76ers to Withhold Simmons’ Pay, Continue to Search for Trade
The Ben Simmons saga continues to get messier and messier.
After Simmons failed to report to the start of camp, the All-Star point guard was rumored to have turned down a visit from his teammates as they hoped for reconciliation.
There is urgency in the Sixers organization to make things happen and the frustration seems to be boiling over.
“I feel like, our teams have always been built around his needs, “Sixers All-Star Joel Embiid commented on the situation. “It was kind of surprising to see. We’ll say that, even going back to, I mean, the reason we signed Al. We got rid of Jimmy [Butler], which I still think was a mistake, just to make sure he needed the ball in his hands, and that’s the decision they made. Like I said, it is surprising. But I’m really focused on the guys that are here. The situation is disappointing, borderline kind of disrespectful to all the guys that are out here fighting for their lives.”
— Jeff Skversky (@JeffSkversky) October 1, 2021
With the team’s first preseason game coming up shortly, the Sixers refused to pay Simmons’ $8.25M which was due on Friday according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Rightfully so, the Sixers believe that refusal to report to camp is a breach of contract and will continue to withhold Simmons’ pay until further notice.
The Sixers have remained in touch with the league office and the NBPA as they navigate the situation.
An appearance to camp has not yet been ruled out according to sources close to Simmons’ camp, but it is evidently clear that the relationship between the 25-year old guard and the organization is broken.
“Obviously, we’re a better team with him, we’re not a better team without him, that’s for sure,” explained Embiid. “We are a better team with him. But like I said, it is surprising, but I’m focused on the guys that are here. We’re trying to get better, trying to get on the same agenda, we know what we got to do, and ever single day we got to attack it as we’re trying to get better every single day.
“We are a better team with him, there’s no question about it. We still hope he changes his mind, but I kind of owe it to these guys to worry about what we have here. That’s the fun of the job. To kind of figure out what’s going to happen, that’s not my job, I’m not the GM, I’m not an owner, so that’s none of my business, honestly.”
There is really no telling at this point how this story will end.