Ben Simmons refuses to report for Philadelphia 76ers training camp
The Australian point guard had fallen out of favor after last season's playoff debacle. It seems nothing has changed
After an off season of intense speculation, the Australian point guard has made his position clear.
Ben Simmons stands firm
If there is one story that has occupied the narrative this NBA pre-season, it's that of the Ben Simmons trade saga. The most recent plot twist came Tuesday when reports came out that the Houston Rockets are “seriously interested” in signing the Australian before training camp begins. The NBA's training camps commence on September 28th with the regular seasaon beginning a few weeks later on October 19th.
Simmons’ management team seemingly made it clear to Philadelphia, that he will not be present for the team’s camp in light of his desire to be traded. The 2016 number one draft pick fell out of favor with the Philadelphia faithful, when the Sixers capitualted at the end of last season with a poor show of form in the playoffs. According to sources there is no way back.
The Sixers remain hopeful
While the Sixers are open to trading him it would appear that it is not their preferred option, as such the asking price for Simmons is understandably high. A tactic no doubt, to ward off any would be suitors. Their stance, however, as the episode continues, does leave the difficult prospect of trying to reintegrate a player who has expressed his wish to leave, into the squad.
Where could Ben Simmons go?
According to reports last week, Houston Rockets point guard John Wall could soon be on his way out the door. Houston it seems have named Simmons as their preference for a replacement. Further weight was added when NBA journalist Evan Dammarell, disclosed that Houston want the team finalized before camp begins. This means that any deal for Simmons involving Wall would have to be completed within the next week.
There are questions, however, regarding the deal as Wall is currently on $44 million per season and Simmons $33 million. With the $11 million difference it would seem the Sixers would have to add an additional player to the negotiation table.
Is Simmons worth it?
Though his numbers were down last season and many will of course point to his 34.2% free throw average, Simmons still managed a credible 14.3 points per game. Where he did stand out,however, was in assists to 3 pointers as he was one of the league leaders. While there will of course be debate about his mental strength, one thing remains clear, Simmons is a master of defense.
Whether he stays or goes, the team he plays for will be getting a three time all star and two time defensive team player of the year. Watch this space.