Today (Monday), when Philadephia 76ers media day takes place, Ben Simmons‘ holdout will officially begin — he will not be there and has no intention to put on a 76ers jersey ever again. The 76ers will fine him. What has not been pretty will get downright ugly.
Recently, several 76ers players were ready to fly out to California to meet with Ben Simmons in person, but were told by Simmons’ camp not to bother. Danny Green was disappointed by that, he said on his “Inside the Green Room” podcast (hat tip Larry Brown Sports).
“This has nothing to do with the organization,” said Green. “This has to do with us. We just want to meet with him on a personal level, on a human being, friend level. If he still considers us friends, we don’t know if that’s the case yet or not.
“I know he still communicates with some of the guys,” Green added. “I haven’t been in communication with him. But I would love to meet with him and sit down and talk just to see where his head was at. Let him know that we have his back and we want him back and just give him some friendly advice. Just first and foremost as a human being, as a professional.”
It’s the “friendly advice” that Simmons was likely trying to avoid. Veteran 76ers players like Green realize that with Simmons this team is a potential contender — they had the best record in the East last season behind an MVP-level performance from Joel Embiid — and those opportunities are hard to come by. They also realize that lost paychecks for players with relatively short earning windows is not a good long-term business plan. Simmons didn’t want that advice; he has his plan to get out of Philly and will stick with it.
Will the start of training camp and the official start of Simmons’ holdout shake up the trade market for him? That market has been very quiet and stagnant for weeks, league sources have told NBC Sports. While some league observers think the start of camps will change the dynamic, that is betting on Daryl Morey and the 76ers feeling the pressure more than other teams suddenly improving their trade offers. And Morey — as well as Simmons — seem more prepared for a long siege than a battle. This could drag out a while, until something changes the calculus for one side of this equation.