It’s seemed like a foregone conclusion for the duration of the 2021 NBA offseason that Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers are headed towards a split. But after weeks of reporting that indicates the Sixers have yet to find a suitable deal for the All-Star guard/forward, a new rumor indicates that Simmons has taken a step towards expediting his exit from the only city in which he’s called home during his NBA career.
Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Simmons met with the Sixers’ brass in Los Angeles last week. The group — made up of Josh Harris, Daryl Morey, Elton Brand, and Doc Rivers — were informed that Simmons does not want to return to the team. To take things a step further, Simmons reportedly said that he does not plan on reporting to training camp when that begins at the end of September.
The line that has been trotted out all summer is that the Sixers are very much willing to move Simmons, but the team needs to get a suitable offer in return, with reports being that they want a package of picks and young players that rival the haul that the Houston Rockets wanted in exchange for James Harden. Whether or not that is feasible given Simmons’ postseason struggles, which were on display as the team fell in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Atlanta Hawks, is unclear. What is clear, though, is that Simmons has appeared to things regarding his departure for the first time since the season ended, and now, the ball is in Philly’s court.