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Sources: New Developments Emerge in Ben Simmons-Philadelphia 76ers Standoff

Jake Fischer@JakeLFischerContributor IOctober 1, 2021

FILE - In this May 5, 2019, file photo, Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons reacts during the second half of Game 4 of the team's second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Toronto Raptors in Philadelphia. Simmons, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2016, has helped lead the Sixers to the second round of the NBA playoffs two straight seasons after making his debut in 2017. He was the Rookie of the Year that season and an All-Star for the first time last season. Simmons has averaged 16.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.9 assists and signed a $170 million, five-year contract extension in July. But the one knock against Simmons has been his reluctance to shoot long jumpers and 3-pointers. He's 0 for 18 from beyond the arc, so defenses often focus on taking away his ability to drive to the basket and dare him to shoot. He's up for the challenge. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola, File)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

The next revolution of the ever-spinning Ben Simmons trade saga has arrived. 

October 1 marks the date that the second 25 percent of Simmons' salary for the 2021-22 season—roughly $8.25 million—is due to the All-Star guard, but the Philadelphia 76ers do not intend to pay Simmons on Friday, league sources told Bleacher Report. 

Simmons already received 25 percent of his salary for this season, the second of a five-year, $177 million agreement he signed back in 2019, and the October 1 payment was intended to be the subsequent installment of his pay.

Philadelphia views Simmons' refusal to report to training camp as not fulfilling the terms of his contract. In dialogue with league-office personnel and players union officials, the Sixers appear to be within their rights to withhold that lucrative check. 

In turn, there have been growing whispers this week among NBA sources with knowledge of the situation that Simmons could respond by actually reporting to Philadelphia in the coming days, but maintaining that he is injured and unable to compete. Simmons has had noted knee and back injuries in the previous two seasons. 

Multiple team executives contacted by B/R have expressed concern about the precedent Simmons' holdout could set for future star players already under long-term contracts.

The Sixers' first preseason game is in Toronto on Monday, and there's a belief held in league circles that Simmons may even rejoin the Sixers prior to that contest. How that would be received by teammates and staffers remains to be seen. 

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But at this juncture, it appears no trade conversations between the Sixers and rival teams are in advanced stages.

"We are in training camp with our full roster," said one assistant general manager of a team that held negotiations with the Sixers this offseason. "Only Philly is concerned about a trade right now."

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