Basketball News: Although Philadelphia’s asking price remains high, the Minnesota Timberwolves are said to be interested in the Defensive Player of the Year runner-up. According to sources, the Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings are also interested. Damian Lillard is still a target for the Sixers.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, All-Star point forward Ben Simmons has informed the Philadelphia 76ers that he no longer wants to be a Sixer and will not report to the team’s training camp.
Since the Sixers were knocked out of the Eastern Conference semi-finals in June, and Simmons was blamed by both coach Doc Rivers and star teammate Joel Embiid, it appeared that Simmons and the Sixers were headed for a tumultuous breakup.
If he is still on the roster, he has notified the team’s president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, general manager Elton Brand, and Rivers that he will not report to training camp.
Despite the fact that the 2016 No. 1 overall choice is widely regarded as a gifted facilitator and defender, his inability – or refusal – to attempt shots surfaced during the series loss to the Atlanta Hawks. His free-throw shooting has long been a source of worry, with the Australian making only 34.2 per cent of his free throws in the playoffs last season.
When compared to his first postseason run in 2017-18, when he shot over 70% from the line, the change is startling.
During the remaining six games of the series against the Hawks, Simmons only attempted one shot in the fourth quarter (for a total of 43 minutes played), and he missed a game-tying lay-up with 3:30 left in Game 7.
When asked if Simmons could be the starting point guard for a championship team, Embiid stated it was the game’s turning point, while Rivers replied he didn’t “know the answer to that right now.”
The Sixers have been aware of Simmons’ desire to be traded “for some time,” according to NBA journalist Marc Stein, but the team has not responded to the reports.
The 25-year-existing old’s max contract has $147 million outstanding over the final four years, and it has been stated that the Sixers have been insistent on acquiring a “All-Star calibre player” in return since examining trade alternatives for Simmons.
Simmons, a three-time All-Star, has started all 275 games in his four NBA seasons, all with the 76ers. He has career averages of 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game, and was the Defensive Player of the Year runner-up to Utah Jazz centre Rudy Gobert last season.
In January, he was on the verge of being moved to the Houston Rockets in exchange for James Harden. The Rockets eventually traded Harden to the Brooklyn Nets, and despite reports of interest from the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings, and Toronto Raptors, no trade for Simmons has materialised.
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