Ben Simmons informs Philadelphia 76ers he wants a trade and will not report for training camp this month

All-Star point forward Ben Simmons has informed the Philadelphia 76ers that he no longer wants to be a Sixer and will not report to the team’s training camp, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday.

Simmons and the Sixers have appeared to be heading for a bitter parting since Philadelphia were knocked out of the Eastern Conference semi-finals in June and Simmons received blame from both coach Doc Rivers and star team-mate Joel Embiid.

He has now informed the team’s president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, general manager Elton Brand and Rivers that he does not intend to report to training camp if he is still on the roster.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Though the 2016 No 1 overall pick is considered an extremely talented playmaker and defender across the league, his inability – or unwillingness – to take shots reared its ugly head during the series loss to the Atlanta Hawks. His shooting from the foul line has long been a concern, too, with the Australian making just 34.2 per cent of his free throws during last season’s playoffs.

Compare that to his debut post-season run in 2017-18, where he shot over 70 per cent from the line, and the difference is quite remarkable.

Trending

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Simmons also attempted only one shot in the fourth quarter during the final six games of the series against the Hawks – a total of 43 minutes played – and passed up a game-tying lay-up with 3:30 left in Game 7.

Embiid cited it as the turning point in the match while Rivers said he didn’t “know the answer to that right now” when asked if Simmons could be the starting point guard of a championship team.

NBA journalist Marc Stein reported that the Sixers have known of Simmons’ desire to be traded “for some time” however the 76ers have not commented on the reports.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

The 25-year-old has $147m remaining over the final four years of his existing max contract and it has been reported that since exploring trade options for Simmons the Sixers have been adamant on receiving an “All-Star calibre player” in return.

A three-time All-Star himself, Simmons has started all 275 games he has played in four NBA seasons, all with the 76ers. He owns career averages of 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game and finished as the runner-up in Defensive Player of the Year voting last season behind Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert.

He was almost traded to the Houston Rockets in January as part of a deal for James Harden. Ultimately, however, the Rockets moved Harden to the Brooklyn Nets and despite reported interest from teams such as the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors, no trade involving Simmons has materialised.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

According to The Athletic’s NBA insider Shams Charania, Philadelphia’s president of basketball operations Daryl Morey – formerly of the Rockets – is waiting to strike a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers to acquire All-NBA point guard Damian Lillard in exchange for Simmons.

However, as it stands, Lillard is set to stay with the franchise that drafted him sixth overall in 2012 after previously expressing concerns over the competitiveness of the roster built around him in Portland.

The 76ers are scheduled to open their training camp on September 28. Whether Simmons is there or not to prepare for the new season remains to be seen.

Source: Read Full Article