Philadelphia 76ers All-Star guard Ben Simmons is reportedly vowing to remain away from the club to force a trade either before or during the upcoming NBA season, and the Golden State Warriors are among teams often linked with Simmons in rumors.
Warriors owner Joe Lacob recently touched upon that subject, and his comments cost him some cash.
Per Nick Friedell of ESPN, the NBA has fined Lacob $50,000 for violating the league's anti-tampering rules.
"In some ways, it doesn’t really fit what we’re doing," Lacob told the San Francisco Chronicle about a potential trade for Simmons. "He makes a lot of money. And, can he finish games? I don’t know. He’s very talented. The problem is: We have Draymond [Green]. Draymond and him are very similar in the sense that neither one really shoots and they do a lot of the playmaking. That’s one issue. The salary structure is another."
According to Brian Witt of NBC Sports Bay Area, Lacob attempted to avoid directly mentioning Simmons by name so he wouldn't be accused of tampering. Clearly, the strategy didn't work. The NBA routinely enforces its anti-tampering rules, so personnel throughout the Association would do well to remember saying nothing is often better than saying anything at all.
Earlier in the day, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said he "hopes" to change Simmons' mind about never again playing for the organization.