The 76ers have suspended star guard/forward Ben Simmons for the season-opener Wednesday vs. the Pelicans for “conduct detrimental to the team,” the team announced in a press release.
While the 76ers didn’t offer a reason, Simmons was suspended after being thrown out of practice by coach Doc Rivers, according to Adrian Wojarowski of ESPN. He was thrown out after refusing to enter a drill, Wojanarowski added.
Simmons, 25, failed to report to the 76ers until just recently and has been requesting a trade. The Sixers have been looking to trade him — but to no avail.
So it’s all part of an ongoing drama involving Simmons and the 76ers, which began following last season’s upset playoff loss to the Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Interestingly, Rivers said just last week he didn’t anticipate any issues once Simmons when Simmons returned to the team.
“Other than those first 10 minutes of welcoming back and taking the crap from your teammates about missing camp and stuff, guys want to win,” Rivers said, via Gina Mizell of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I’m telling you, especially if you’re on that type of team where you have a chance to win. They want to win, and they look at Ben as a guy that can help them do that.”
The Cavaliers, Pistons, Rockets and Raptors are among nine known opponents who have recently engaged the 76ers in trade conversations centered on Simmons, as we relayed last week.
While the Cavs and Timberwolves have made “pick-heavy overtures,” no team has yet come close to the 76ers’ asking price in a possible Simmons deal, per Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.
Also, Marc Stein of Substack cited the Cavs, Pacers, Spurs and Raptors as being the “most determined suitors for Simmons” since the end of last season.
Stein added that, because of the language in Simmons’ contract, agent Rich Paul will have little control over where his client ends up.
Sources have told Hoops Wire the 76ers aren’t as interested in draft picks as they are younger players who could help them win now.
Most sources believe it will take a multi-team trade to move Simmons, as opposed to a straight-up deal between two teams.
“Offers for Simmons have thus far included draft picks or young players, not anything a contender like Philadelphia would want,” reported Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. “And since nearly half the league is ineligible to be dealt until December 15, teams that might be willing to offer a veteran can’t do that yet.”
O’Connor added that “reasonable” offers for Simmons have already been made, but “acceptable” offers may not come until as late as January.
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