Ben Simmons Trade Rumors: PG Told 76ers He Wants Out, Doesn't Plan to Report to Camp

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVAugust 31, 2021

Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons plays during Game 7 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons has reportedly informed the team he has no plans to report to training camp next month and wants a trade.

Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Simmons informed co-managing partner Josh Harris, president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, general manager Elton Brand and coach Doc Rivers of his decision during a meeting in Los Angeles last week.

The Sixers and Simmons have spent this summer under something of a mutual understanding that the team would attempt to trade the three-time All-Star. With training camp approaching in a matter of weeks, however, it seems Simmons has gone on the offensive rather than wait out an increasingly toxic situation.

Morey offered Simmons in trade packages for James Harden last season, setting the stage for the relationship between player and team to sour over the course of the campaign. Things reached what felt like a point of no return during the playoffs, when Simmons saw the Sixers fanbase and locker room criticize him for the team's postseason failures.

To be fair, Simmons carries much of the blame for the Sixers' disappointing second-round exit. He fell apart at the free-throw line, shooting 34.2 percent in the postseason, which led to an already-limited offensive player completely losing his confidence. By the end of Round 2, Simmons was passing up wide-open dunks in fear of being fouled.

That said, the lack of public backing he received in the aftermath of the Sixers' playoff elimination was surprising. Joel Embiid essentially pinned the blame on Simmons, saying his decision to pass up a dunk in Game 7 was the turning point in their loss to the Hawks. Rivers said he wasn't sure whether Simmons is capable of running the point for a championship team. Morey once again went star-chasing all summer, using Simmons as bait.

There is no logical reason for Simmons to want to remain in a situation like that. The team has pretty clearly lost faith in him and vice versa. A best-case scenario for the Sixers would be Simmons returning, playing at an All-Star level and reviving his trade value. But the endgame here has always been a Simmons departure.

Simmons doesn't seem to have any interest in playing nice on the team's timetable.