If you were under the impression that the ongoing saga relating to the future of Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons was nearing a conclusion, you’d be wrong. The debacle over the future of the Australian continues to cause no end of irritation for all concerned.
Simmons, who felt that he was something of a scapegoat for the 76ers poor playoff form last season, has been demanding a move for some time. However, that move hasn’t materialized, and the issue has begun to affect relations between Simmons and his teammates, culminating in a clear-the-air summit between the 76ers players.
The 76ers are currently 2-2, and the loss of a key player such as Ben Simmons undoubtedly will affect their NBA odds and lines. As of writing, Doc Rivers’ side is (+2000) for the NBA title, and those are long odds for a team of their stature. Remember, the Wells Fargo side has made the postseason in each of the past four seasons.
By all accounts, the player summit may be a good move in the right direction with Simmons’ teammate Tobias Harris making a point of supporting the wantaway three-time NBA All-Star pick, stating;
“I think it’s obviously a good start,” Harris said. “But as I said, at this time, we have to respect his privacy, his space, and we’ve got to be there for him, with what he’s going through and this process.
“It’s easy to look at something on the surface and come to assumptions on a lot of things, especially athletes. In general, in this space, we’re depicted as superhumans, and you’re not supposed to have feelings or go through anything. So I think we just have to really understand he’s a human first, and if he’s going through something at times, we have to respect that and go through that as a team, organization, fans, all the way down the line.”
Ben Simmons met Doc Rivers as part of his possible return to action, but he remains out of contention in his starting line-up plans, and it’s thus far cost the player $2 million in fines.
On the whole, Simmons has proven a massive success throughout his four full seasons at the 76ers. Though it may be true he put in some decidedly average displays in last seasons’ playoffs; he is still very much one of the key members of the organization.
The 76ers started the season with a defeat to the Toronto Raptors before beating them in the follow-up and then breezed past early-season favorites, the Brooklyn Nets, and were then edged out by the Detroit Pistons in something of an up and down start to the season.
Though clearly resolving the Ben Simmons issue may help smooth things over in the 76ers dressing room, it does seem entirely plausible that he’ll be on his way, and a trade in early December has been touted, and that may be the best for all parties.