Any hopes the Philadelphia 76ers had of reconciling with Ben Simmons appear to be gone. The three-time All-Star will indeed hold out of training camp and is intent on never playing a game for the team again, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Simmons made it clear earlier this summer that he wanted to be traded, and would be willing to sit out to make that happen — even in the face of potential fines. But it’s one thing to make those threats in the middle of the offseason with training camp still a ways off. It’s another to actually follow through. But with camps set to open in just a week, it looks like Simmons is going to walk the walk on this one.
The interesting thing about this situation is that usually when players hold out it’s because they’re trying to force a trade and the team wants to keep them. In this case, the Sixers would be happy to move on from Simmons. The problem for them is they have zero leverage in trade negotiations because every other organization knows they’re stuck.
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Despite Simmons’ limitations, he’s still an All-Star and one of the best defensive players in the league. The Sixers understandably don’t want to dump a player that talented for 50 cents on the dollar, nor do they want to trade him for a package of young players and draft picks that could theoretically pan out in the future. Neither of those options would increase their chances of winning a title right now when they have Joel Embiid in his prime.
It’s well known the Sixers want to get an All-Star caliber player back for Simmons, but right now there’s nothing like that on the table. And since they cannot find a trade they like, the situation has been stuck at an impasse. The longer it remains that way, the uglier things are going to get.