As expected, Ben Simmons wasn’t present at the Sixers' media day on Monday, and his absence was the subject of plenty of discussion during the press conferences with president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, head coach Doc Rivers and star center Joel Embiid, among others.
As Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com tweets, Morey confirmed that Simmons and his camp asked the team for a trade as far back as the draft combine in Chicago this spring. However, Philadelphia’s head of basketball operations insisted that the club didn’t want to make a trade then or now, suggesting that there’s still “a lot of hope” for reconciliation (Twitter link via Chris Mannix of SI.com).
Morey pointed to this year’s standoff between the NFL’s Green Bay Pacers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers – who is still with the team – as an example of how a relationship that seemed destined for an end can still be mended (Twitter link via Michael Lee of the Washington Post). According to Morey, he hasn’t talked to Simmons himself in about six or seven weeks but remains in frequent communication with the 25-year-old’s representatives (Twitter link via Neubeck).
Asked about next steps if Simmons remains away from the team, Morey hinted that fines will be coming, telling reporters that it’s “very clearly spelled out” in both Simmons’ contract and the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement what will happen (Twitter link via Neubeck). For what it’s worth, sources have told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer that Simmons isn’t concerned about the potential fines and that money is playing “no role” in his decision-making.
Here’s more out of Philadelphia: