NBA All-Star Ben Simmons reportedly won’t be reporting to Philadelphia 76ers’ training camp next week and may be searching for a new team to continue his NBA career, multiple news outlets reported, following the 76ers poor end to the playoffs last season, for which Simmons took the brunt of the blame.
Simmons met with the team in late August and told team officials that he was planning to not play another game with the 76ers franchise, sources told ESPN.
This followed a disappointing playoffs series for the top-seeded 76ers in June when they were eliminated in the second-round by the Atlanta Hawks.
Fans and, reportedly, team members placed the blame on Simmons for the team’s exit after he shot 34% from the free-throw line during the playoffs and spent time on the bench after being reluctant to take shots late in games, according to AP.
Simmons, 25, was born in Australia and moved to the U.S., playing an impressive season (19-14) for the Louisiana State University Tigers, before deciding to try for the big leagues. The Philadelphia 76ers chose Simmons, making him the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft. He went on to become NBA Rookie of the Year in 2018 beating out the Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell and the Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum, and was named an NBA All-Star for the last three years. However, since last season’s playoffs, rumors have swirled that Simmons was searching for a new home to continue his career. The Athletic reported in August that the 76ers had been discussing trades involving the all-star since July, and the Minnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors both made proposals. No announcements for a trade have been made yet by the 76ers. Throughout his four NBA campaigns, Simmons has averaged 15.9 points and 7.7 assists, according to the Athletic.
$177.2 million. That is how much Simmons’ 5-year contract with the 76ers is worth. Simmons signed it back in 2019 and is currently in his second year of the contract. It is unknown how much of Simmons’ paycheck could be withheld if he doesn’t attend the team’s opening training camp on Oct. 1, according to ESPN.