Then, Embiid added: “but not everyone is built like that.”
The Sixers asked why Simmons wanted out, and Paul informed them that the point guard was mentally exhausted. The source believes they didn’t pay attention to Simmons’ state of mind or feelings about being in Philly because of the four years remaining on his contract.
People are trying to frame why Simmons – who hasn’t spoken publicly during this saga – wants to leave Philadelphia, offering different reasons that probably all overlap. Simmons reportedly no longer wants to play with Embiid. Simmons was also reportedly bothered by 76ers coach Doc Rivers saying he didn’t know whether Simmons could be the point guard on a championship team.
Maybe this that was all too little, too late. But Rivers also spent all season pumping up Simmons. The team, to Embiid’s chagrin, made real effort to build around Simmons. The 76ers gave him a super-max contract extension.
But, to a certain degree and to quote Don Draper, that’s what the money is for.
Simmons deserves some room to feel mentally exhausted. It’s also reasonable for Philadelphia to expect him to try to overcome any issues and help the team win.
Of course, players can request trades. It’s on the team to keep stars satisfied.
Yet, this only adds to Simmons’ reputation.
His limitations as a shooter require the just-right combination of players placed around him. He’s unreceptive to constructive criticism. Now, it’s becoming increasingly clear how much he wants to be catered to.
Simmons is so talented and productive, some NBA teams should still deal with all the complications just to get the 25-year-old on the roster. But the list probably isn’t as long as Simmons would like.
On the bright side for him, it doesn’t include the 76ers, who’ve rightly made Embiid their franchise player – though are dealing with the side effects now.