Posts Tagged ‘Ben Simmons’

Ben Simmons‘ tenure with the Philadelphia 76ers didn’t end on the best of terms, but the Brooklyn Nets guard still has a lot of love for the city where he began his NBA career.

“Philly is obviously a sports city. And my experience playing there was incredible,” Simmons said during a recent appearance on “The Old Man and The Three” podcast with former teammate JJ Reddick. “Like, for the most part, it was incredible. I had a great time. The fans are unbelievable. I still have an apartment there … I feel like I’m a part of Philly still.”

Simmons added: “It’s just unique. Even being in Brooklyn now, it’s completely different. This is a different experience for me. And, you know, I value that time I did spend in Philly because I was able to learn and grow in that city, and I got friends for life there. My brother lives there. I got family there. So yeah, Philly’s great. I think people have like a thought that I think that I hate it.”

Simmons averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 boards, 7.7 assists, and 1.7 steals over 275 appearances with the 76ers. The former No. 1 overall pick earned three All-Star nods, two NBA All-Defensive first-team selections, and Rookie of the Year honors during his tenure in the City of Brotherly Love.

Despite a collection of accolades and a versatile skill set, Simmons’ inability to space the floor wasn’t an ideal fit alongside co-star Joel Embiid. He notably struggled in the team’s second-round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks in 2021, passing up an open dunk late in the 76ers’ season-ending Game 7 loss.

Simmons requested a trade prior to the 2021-22 campaign and refused to suit up for Philadelphia, citing mental health as his reason for holding out.

Brooklyn acquired Simmons at the trade deadline in a blockbuster deal involving James Harden. However, Simmons didn’t play a game for his new club due to a lingering back injury. He underwent surgery for the ailment in May and is expected to be ready for training camp.

Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons has filed a grievance for nearly $20 million in salary withheld by the Philadelphia 76ers this season, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Simmons’ complaint has the support of the National Basketball Players Association and will be assessed through an arbitration process, Wojnarowski adds.

Simmons has not appeared in a game this season for either the Nets or 76ers. The 25-year-old missed training camp and the preseason with Philadelphia while attempting to force a trade following the 76ers’ disappointing exit from the 2021 playoffs, during which he was a popular target of criticism.

Simmons and his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, reportedly first requested a trade in an offseason meeting. The 76ers dealt the three-time All-Star to the Nets in February as part of a blockbuster deal involving James Harden.

Philadelphia began fining Simmons during the preseason after he failed to report to training camp, and they reportedly continued to withhold his salary for each contest missed – $360,000 per game – during the season.

The 76ers stopped penalizing Simmons in October when he claimed his absence was due to mental health concerns. But they reinstated the fines when the former Rookie of the Year failed to cooperate with their demands.

Brooklyn has deducted a portion of Simmons’ salary to send to Philadelphia since he joined the Nets, sources told Wojnarowski; Simmons’ in-season paychecks with the 76ers reportedly didn’t cover the fines due to the offseason advance payouts stipulated in his contract.

The NBA’s collective bargaining agreement stipulates that any grievance must be initiated within 30 days of the infraction. Klutch Sports reportedly believes Simmons’ trade to the Nets did not trigger the 30-day window because the deductions have continued throughout the season.

Brooklyn has held Simmons out of action following February’s trade due to a disc irritation in his lower spine. The Nets are hopeful he’ll return before the end of the regular season.

Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid has no ill will towards his former teammate Ben Simmons.

“I don’t have any hard feelings,” he told SI’s Chris Mannix. “I don’t have any hate toward him. I wouldn’t mind being friends.”

The 76ers sent Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster trade that helped James Harden land in Philadelphia. The former All-Star has yet to appear in a game for the Nets due to a back injury.

There has been no shortage of comments from Embiid on Simmons’ situation. Before the trade deadline, Embiid said he would welcome him back to the team if the Australian guard wanted “to be there.”

After the team announced the trade, Embiid trolled the 25-year-old on Twitter before also telling reporters that winning wasn’t Simmons’ “biggest factor.”

A few weeks later, Embiid told ESPN he did a lot to convince Simmons to stay with the team.

The 28-year-old said that he has not spoken to Simmons since the trade.

“I respect the decision he made. I think it’s unfortunate what happened, but to me, it’s whatever.”

Ben Simmons has yet to play for the Brooklyn Nets due to an L-4 disc irritation in his lower spine, sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski.

However, the Nets are reportedly hopeful the 25-year-old can make his team debut before playoffs. The club believes Simmons could appear in a “couple” of regular-season games, reports Shelburne and Wojnarowski.

Simmons hasn’t played at all this season. After requesting a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers last summer, the three-time All-Star reportedly told the franchise that he wasn’t mentally ready to return to the court and subsequently sat out. Since being traded to Brooklyn at the Feb. 10 deadline, Simmons has been sidelined indefinitely with back soreness.

Nets head coach Steve Nash said Wednesday that Simmons received an epidural injection to help his recovery.

Nash revealed Tuesday that Simmons has yet to participate in non-individual basketball activities.

“He’s just doing his rehab, strengthening,” Nash said, per ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “We’re still doing that side of things rather than court work right now.”

Including Wednesday’s contest with the Dallas Mavericks, the eighth-place Nets have 13 games remaining in the regular season, which wraps up April 10. If Brooklyn fails to move up the standings, it would have to compete in the play-in tournament to make the first round of the playoffs.

Joel Embiid tried convincing Ben Simmons to stay with the Philadelphia 76ers before the former No. 1 overall pick was traded to the Brooklyn Nets, he told ESPN’s Malika Andrews.

“I did a lot of chasing around, trying to get him back and (trying) to make him feel comfortable again,” Embiid said. “It was tough. I didn’t care anymore.”

Embiid and Simmons haven’t been on the best terms. On the eve of the 76ers’ regular-season opener, the All-Star center said he didn’t care about Simmons. He also added that it wasn’t his or the club’s job to “babysit” the point guard.

Shortly after the Simmons blockbuster deal broke, Embiid appeared to troll his ex-teammate on social media.

Embiid says he last spoke with Simmons a week or two before the trade deadline and wishes him the best in Brooklyn.

“He’s a great player,” Embiid said. “And I think whatever he’s going to add to Brooklyn is going to take them to another level, too.”

Charles Barkley believes Ben Simmons has worn out his welcome in Philadelphia and needs a fresh start with a new team.

The Hall of Famer, who spent the first eight seasons of his NBA career with the Philadelphia 76ers, told TMZ Sports he doesn’t foresee Simmons ever playing for the club again. Barkley doesn’t think Sixers fans will ever forgive Simmons, either.

“You gotta move on from a bad relationship,” Barkley said. “They’re not using him, and Joel Embiid has been playing great this year, so they’re wasting his talents.

“They’ve got to make a decision, but Ben Simmons never gonna play in Philly again. The fans will never forgive him … I know those fans well. I thought my name was ‘Charles Barkley Son of a Bitch’ for a long time when I was there.”

Simmons has yet to play in a game for the 76ers this campaign after reportedly telling the team he wasn’t mentally ready to return to the court.

Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons is likely to continue sitting out for the remainder of the season if the team doesn’t trade him by the NBA’s deadline, sources told The Athletic’s Sam Amick.

The Sixers have been actively seeking a deal for their disgruntled star since Simmons refused to report at the start of training camp.

With the league’s trade deadline set for Feb. 10, the organization has pursued multiple avenues to fulfill Simmons’ trade request, including packaging him in a deal with forward Tobias Harris and attempting to pry floor general De’Aaron Fox away from the Sacramento Kings.

With Philly in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race – sitting just 2.5 games back of the No. 1 seed – bringing in readily available players would be a major benefit. However, as team president Daryl Morey has demonstrated up to this point, the 76ers won’t part with their former first overall pick without receiving significant talent in return.

With the NBA’s trade deadline just under a month away, the Philadelphia 76ers continue to gauge the market for Ben Simmons.

Philadelphia recently talked to the Sacramento Kings about the idea of a trade package centered around Simmons and De’Aaron Fox, but the discussions were exploratory due diligence, sources told Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes.

While Sacramento is receiving an “abundance of interest” in Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, the Kings plan to build around the young backcourt duo, adds Haynes.

The Kings sit a half-game back of the West’s final play-in tournament spot and are expected to be “aggressively active” at the trade deadline, Haynes reports, citing sources.

“You definitely think about potentially being traded because we are struggling,” Fox told Haynes. “If you do have a change of scenery, it changes everything. I’ve been here for five years. I’ve built a life here, a family here.

“But once I’m on the court, all that is out the window. You’re not thinking about anything else that can happen outside of your control.”

Fox has taken a step back this season. The Kings guard is averaging 20.9 points and shooting a career-worst 24.3% from deep over 40 appearances. He’s in the first year of a five-year, $163-million contract.

Trade talks surrounding Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons are gathering momentum with more teams engaged and the framework of a two- and three-way deal being discussed, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe.

The renewed interest in Simmons comes right before 84% of the league’s players become trade eligible Wednesday, according to Wojnarowski.

The 76ers are reportedly seeking a top-25 player in return, but the Portland Trail Blazers remain adamant that they won’t include Damian Lillard in a potential deal for Simmons and have no interest in moving the six-time All-Star, Wojnarowski adds.

Lillard recently reiterated his desire to stay in Portland despite the club’s struggles this season. The longtime Blazers star, who is currently out with an abdominal injury, is averaging 21.5 points and 7.8 assists across 20 appearances during the 2021-22 campaign.

The Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers discussed blockbuster trade packages during now-former general manager Neil Olshey’s tenure with Portland that would have achieved Damian Lillard‘s desired goal of playing alongside Ben Simmons, sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Sam Amick.

The two teams reportedly discussed a package for Simmons that included guard CJ McCollum, a first-round pick, and a young player such as Nassir Little or Anfernee Simons; Philadelphia apparently offered Simmons for McCollum and multiple first-round picks and pick swaps – a proposal the Trail Blazers rejected.

Portland fired Olshey on Friday following a monthlong investigation into workplace misconduct allegations, ending nearly a decade of leadership that produced the NBA’s longest active playoff streak (eight seasons).

Simmons, a three-time All-Star and last year’s Defensive Player of the Year runner-up, has not played this season. The 25-year-old informed the 76ers of his desire to leave via trade during a meeting with team leadership this summer.

At his best, Simmons is a foundational defender and elite playmaker in transition. But he’s struggled as the primary ball-handler in half-court sets – a role in which Lillard, 31, has thrived throughout his career en route to earning a spot on the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team earlier this autumn.

The Trail Blazers sit 10th in the Western Conference at 11-13 (.458) and are closer to the cellar-dwelling New Orleans Pelicans (7-19) than the third-seeded Utah Jazz (16-7). Portland’s offense – the fifth-best in the league – has been completely undercut by a defense that ranks dead last, resulting in a 24th-ranked net rating of minus-2.6 points per 100 possessions.

The ailing 76ers, meanwhile, are 12-11 (.522) and sit ninth in the Eastern Conference, but they’re just 1.5 games back of the fourth-seeded Miami Heat.