No matter how far along their proverbial process Philadelphia is hoping to become a legitimate NBA title contender, it looks like at least one member of its young core may not be in the plans.
Ben Simmons, the former top pick in the overall standings in 2016, told the 76ers organization’s superiors he no longer wanted to be on the squad and had no plans to run at training camp when it starts on September 28.
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Simmons has long had a tenuous relationship with 76ers fans, which was recently highlighted and exacerbated by his poor, and at times seemingly non-existent, performance in the playoffs.
In the Eastern Conference semifinals, where the 76ers fell to the Hawks in seven games, Simmons averaged just over six shots per game despite playing more than 33 minutes per game in all games of the series except one.
In Game 7 of this series, Simmons even admitted that “he wasn’t there” and that he hadn’t supported the team’s offense enough. In addition to poor performance from the floor in that second-round game with Atlanta, Simmons only shot 15 of 45 from the free throw line.
This is far from the first report of a declining relationship between the young goalkeeper and his team.
Almost a month ago, reports surfaced that he had cut off communication with the 76ers and all correspondence was going through his agent, Rich Paul.
Source: Ben Simmons cut off communication with virtually everyone in the Sixers organization. Everything goes through his agent, Rich Paul. Ben is ready to go to GSW although he doesn’t have much influence on the situation.
– Jason Dumas (@JDumasReports) August 5, 2021
The 24-year-old even prompted questions from his own coach, Doc Rivers, who has publicly said he “doesn’t know” if Simmons can be a championship-caliber playmaker.
Three-time All-Star and Former Rookie of the Year, Simmons still has four years and $ 147 million on his contract.