“I just thought he was a distraction today,” Rivers said after the incident. “He didn’t want to do what everyone else is doing.”
Simmons had been staying away from the 76ers throughout the offseason, ending his effective holdout earlier this month. However, it has not been a happy situation, as he’s been reluctant “to physically and mentally engage” with the team, Adrian Wojnarowski has reported.
After the news of Simmons’ departure from practice, and consequence one-game suspension, came out, many joked about him still collecting a paycheck to miss time. According to Woj, that is absolutely not the case. In fact, Simmons has already been fined $1.4 million for missed preseason games, practices, workouts, and meetings. The NBA insider says Simmons “hasn’t earned any money” since his return.
ESPN Sources: The 76ers have fined Ben Simmons $1.4M for his absence from four preseason games (360K each) and levied numerous team fines for missed practices, on-court workouts and meetings. He hasn’t earned any money since returning to the team on October 11.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 19, 2021
Ben Simmons’ goal has been clear: he wants out of Philadelphia. The 76ers would probably love to grant him that wish, but Daryl Morey and the front office aren’t going to just give away an All-Star level talent.
At the same time, Simmons behavior, and his horrid on-court play during the 76ers’ playoff flameout last year, make it very hard for Philly to get the type of return that a player of Simmons’ potential, even a disgruntled one, would normally garner.
“Sixers’ approach on a trade has remained steadfast: They won’t move Simmons for role players — only a player who’ll help keep them a championship contender,” Wojnarowski reported earlier in the day. “That hasn’t changed. For now, no one should expect a speedy resolution on Simmons’ future in Philadelphia.”
We’ll see how long that stance is tenable for the franchise.