The current NBA offseason has been a wild ride for many reasons. One name that’s been front and center for the last handful of months has been that of Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons.
Ever since the 76ers were eliminated in the 2020-21 Eastern Conference Semifinals by the Atlanta Hawks, the writing has been on the well regarding Simmons. Whether it was his lack of shooting or the fact that he’d opt for a pass instead of taking an open basket, it was evident that fans and experts alike had grown tired of Simmons’ play style.
Fast forward to now and numerous reports have indicated that Ben Simmons has told the 76ers that he has no interest in being part of the team going forward. He’s essentially forcing Philadelphia to trade him, however, that’s difficult when his value is at an all-time low coming off of his latest playoff run. If a trade doesn’t go down in the next few weeks, some have begun wondering if the three-time NBA All-Star could sit out of training camp, which begins on September 28.
According to BetOnline, Simmons will stay true to his word as he’s favored at -500 odds to sit out of 76ers training camp. From his perspective, it’s the fastest way to force Philadelphia to trade him. After all, no team wants to have $33 million dedicated to a player who isn’t even playing for them.
On the other hand, Simmons could be fined up to $227,000 for every practice he misses. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the fines could add up to $1.3 million by the end of the preseason. Nevertheless, Windhorst also added that Simmons and his group have made it clear that he’s prepare to face the fines. Only time will tell how this turns out.
Ben Simmons Trade Destination Odds
Odds via BetOnline as of Thursday, September 9
- Portland Trail Blazers (+200)
- Minnesota Timberwolves (+350)
- Cleveland Cavaliers (+400)
- Sacramento Kings (+600)
- Golden State Warriors (+700)
- San Antonio Spurs (+900)
- Toronto Raptors (+1000)
- Oklahoma City Thunder (+1400)
- Los Angeles Clippers (+1800)
- Los Angeles Lakers (+2200)
- Shanghai Sharks (+3300)
Simmons Trade Rumors
At +200 odds, the Portland Trail Blazers seems to be the most likely destination for Ben Simmons. This isn’t surprising because they’ve been a team attached to his name ever since these trade rumors began after the 2020-21 NBA postseason. At first, it seemed like Philadelphia was hoping to get Damian Lillard back in a potential Simmons trade, although, that’s unlikely as the former has way more trade value than the latter at the moment.
Any sort of deal will likely involve the Trail Blazers moving C.J. McCollum for Simmons. After all, Portland is in a win-now mode and bringing in the 6-foot-11 guard would certainly shore up the team’s defense. Yes, he’s not a great shooter, but the Trail Blazers could improve their defense after allowing 114.8 points per game last season — the eighth-worst average in the league and second-worst among playoff teams.
On the other hand, the Minnesota Timberwolves (+350) are another team that’s been linked to Ben Simmons. With the 76ers also wanting to win now, Minnesota would likely have to give up a player like D’Angelo Russell in return. They want a player who can shoot while the Timberwolves need a ball-handler like Simmons who can play defense. Is that the return that Philadelphia would want for their young all-star? Probably not, but sometimes taking any trade with a decent return is better than spending over $30 million on a player who doesn’t even want to practice for you anymore.
At the end of the day, the Simmons situation can go in a multitude of directions. It’ll come down to whichever side gives in first. Either the 76ers are prepared to wait until they get an offer they love or Simmons will realize that he could be wasting one of his prime seasons on the sidelines. Regardless, things should start heating up even more as training camp nears in less than three weeks.