The Philadelphia 76ers are withholding a $8.25 million payment due to Ben Simmons Friday as the guard continues his holdout, according to Shams Charania. The team continues to seek a trade for the three-time All-Star, who has made it clear he no longer wants to play for the organization.
Simmons was reportedly miffed by the Joel Embiid and head coach Doc Rivers made after the team’s Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the playoffs, further deteriorating the relationship between the player and organization. Many have pointed to Simmons’ lack of offensive development, specifically a jump shot, since he entered the league. Simmons’ camp contends the Sixers haven’t used him properly and he could benefit from being the lead player on a team rather than playing second fiddle to Embiid.
A trade package is complicated due to Simmons’ massive contract. The Sixers also want compensation as if Simmons’ value is that of a superstar. Even though he’s a great defender, the guard’s offensive limitations can make him a liability in the postseason. He continues to hold out hoping for a trade, but his best move might actually be to play and raise his value to a point where more trade partners can get involved.
The 76ers had constructed a championship-caliber core with Embiid, Simmons and Tobias Harris but it looks like general manager Daryl Morey will have some significant re-tooling to do ahead of the regular season.