It would appear the showdown between Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers will linger into training camp, and potentially beyond, as the disgruntled point guard seeks a trade.
NBA writer Marc Stein reported Monday that Simmons "will choose not to report to the team's training camp" but that the Sixers "remain intent on trying to convince Simmons to report."
Multiple reports have indicated that a Simmons holdout is coming:
Keith Pompey @PompeyOnSixers
Ben Simmons tells <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Sixers?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Sixers</a> brass he no longer wants to be a Sixer and does not intend to report to training camp, according to multiple sources. <a href="https://t.co/17X1XfkzZO">https://t.co/17X1XfkzZO</a> via <a href="https://twitter.com/PhillyInquirer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@phillyinquirer</a>
The positions of both sides in this standoff are pretty clear. Simmons reportedly wants to be traded, isn't interested in playing for the Sixers again and doesn't particularly care if his desire to be dealt immediately makes it harder for the team to find a good deal.
The Sixers, on the other hand, aren't about to trade a 25-year-old who is under contract for four more years and already a three-time All-Star without getting absolutely everything they can in return.
And teams around the NBA are going to let the Sixers sit in that tense position, holding back their best offers to see if the Sixers will ultimately be pressured to pull the trigger on a return that is below market value for Simmons.
It's essentially a game of "who blinks first?"
Will Simmons eventually choose to avoid being fined and return to the team, buying the Sixers some time to work out a deal? Will the Sixers relent on what are reportedly astronomically high demands in trade talks, taking less than they desire to end a contentious situation? Or will a team bail both sides out and make the sort of offer that team president Daryl Morey wants, eager to get a talented young player like Simmons while they have the chance?
Until somebody blinks, the situation remains in limbo and one of the biggest storylines heading into the 2021-22 season.