Things between the Philadelphia 76ers and Ben Simmons could get fractious if he remains on the team as the 2021-22 NBA season is getting ready to tip off.
The Ringer's Paolo Uggetti reported one scout in the league believes the three-time All-Star may not attend training camp if he isn't traded.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported June 24 that Simmons' agent, Rich Paul, met with Sixers officials about his future and "whether it makes sense to work together to find a trade before the start of next season."
While that didn't result in a formal trade request, the meeting itself was a bit damning as to where Simmons fits into the franchise's plans.
Things seemed to reach a point of no return after the 2021 playoffs as Philadelphia lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The 25-year-old's offensive contributions were noticeably limited in the critical stages of games.
After the series ended, head coach Doc Rivers sidestepped a question about whether a championship team could have Simmons as its starting point guard:
The partnership between Simmons and Joel Embiid doesn't appear to be working, and he might benefit from a new setting unburdened from The Process. A separation would appear to benefit both parties.
However, the Sixers haven't acted like a team that's desperate to shed Simmons from its roster.
The Athletic's David Aldridge reported Aug. 2 that Philadelphia in any trade negotiations is "seeking control of at least four future first-round picks via direct trade or pick swaps, along with an All-Star-level player in most (but not all) scenarios."
That's a steep price given the fact everybody saw what transpired during the postseason. Simmons is a two-time All-Defensive player and a dynamic playmaker. His inability to stretch the floor and unwillingness to shoot, however, limit how effective he can be in a playoff setting.
The Sixers shouldn't trade him for pennies on the dollar, but the front office is basically pricing itself out of any deal.
To date, neither Simmons nor the team has let any internal drama spill out into public view. Based on Uggetti's report, that may change in the months ahead.