The Ben Simmons era in Philadelphia is headed towards a messy end. The two sides have been far apart in building back their relationship since the Philadelphia 76ers got eliminated in the 2021 playoffs. Simmons was drafted first overall by Philly in the 2016 NBA draft after one season at LSU. Since then, Simmons has made an impact on the franchise alongside running mate Joel Embiid. Fans have been patient and “Trusting the Process”. Now it seems the process is done, and some players want out particularly Simmons.
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How it started
In the 2020-2021 NBA season, Philadelphia finished with a 49-23 record. Under coach Doc Rivers, his first year with the team, lead the Sixers to first place in the east since the 2000-2001 season. Despite the franchise succeeding as a whole, Simmons’ faults finally got put on notice in the playoffs. The league knew about his lack of shooting since entering the league, but it made the 76ers miss out on a championship.
Simmons averaged 11.9 points in the playoffs shooting 62 percent. An overwhelming majority coming from inside the paint and shooting a career-worst 34 percent from the free-throw line. In a Game 7 vs the Atlanta Hawks, his mental state was shown where he passed out on a crucial layup. A big reason why the 76ers were eliminated early in the postseason. After facing criticism from his coach, teammates, and the media Simmons would ask out of Philadelphia during the offseason.
How’s it going
The Sixers started the season with Simmons on the inactive list. He missed the entire preseason, and a majority of training camp until his trade request was fulfilled. Simmons would return to the team on October 11, 2021. On October 19, he was thrown out of practice by coach Rivers, due to declining several times to sub into a drill. Simmons was then suspended by the 76ers for one game, the team’s season-opener against the New Orleans Pelicans, due to conduct detrimental to the team.
Simmons was fined 1.4 million dollars during the preseason. This via his absence from four preseason games, missed practices, on-court workouts, and meetings. On October 25, the 76ers stopped fining him for missing games and practices because he stated that he had a mental health issue. Currently, they’re still one of the best teams in the league. Looking to win their first title in nearly 40 years, the team is currently unaffected by his absence. Philidelphia currently sits atop the Eastern Conference. Now the 76ers would like Simmons back and do whatever possible to rebuild the relationship. However, that bridge may be beyond repair.
How’s it ending
With the NBA season already in progress, the Sixers would like to repair the relationship with Simmons and move on from trade talks. It seems like right now; Philadelphia will be more open on December 15 when signed players from the offseason will be trade eligible. Even though Simmons’s trade value may be down he can still be a valuable piece to a potential playoff team.
A handful of teams will look into inquiring about the Australian guard and his playmaking abilities. He is currently on a five-year 177 million dollar contract it shouldn’t be hard to trade his money but it’s what teams can offer to Philly as they look to contend and swap an all-star for an all-star. Either way, Simmons will be in a new uniform soon. As both sides look to move on and prove to each other that one doesn’t need the other.
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