Report: Ben Simmons approaching return to 76ers

76ers star Ben Simmons
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
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Ben Simmons is losing $360,305 per missed game. He’s facing “such discipline as is reasonable under the circumstances,” escalating from a $,7500 fine, for each missed practice. The 76ers have already withheld a $8,250,984 paycheck to take that fine money from.

Maybe Simmons will soon end his holdout.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The 76ers hope to convince Simmons that Philadelphia is the right place for him… until it’s advantageous to trade him. Last season, the 76ers said they wouldn’t trade Simmons then tried to trade him for James Harden. Daryl Morey wouldn’t hesitate to move Simmons once a deal offers better value – and lie about it in the meantime.

At this point, Simmons might not mind. He just wants to leave. Reporting to the team, even without trusting Morey, might be Simmons’ best chance to change a stale situation where no trade is happening.

First, Simmons would create a spectacle by merely showing up.

Philadelphia fans would be merciless. Already a tough bunch, including on Simmons, this fan base rightfully hasn’t taken kindly to his trade request.

How would other 76ers react? Simmons’ desire to leave Philadelphia is reportedly based on no longer wanting to play with Joel Embiid, and Embiid has swiped back publicly. Though Doc Rivers has taken a more-mature approach, Simmons has also reportedly griped about the 76ers coach.

More importantly, how will Simmons react? Already overthinking on the court, he does not seem like the type to handle the pressure and awkwardness well – if he’s even trying to. Simmons could be checked out until traded, maybe even deliberately. Making a mess often works to force a trade. But not everyone has the personality to do that. Simmons – following Mo Williams’ apparent plan and Kyrie Irving‘s threat – could even claim injury, ostensibly positioning him to miss more time without continuing to accrue fines.

And then of course, there are other teams. Will they see Philadelphia regain leverage and Simmons gain distance from his ugly playoffs and up their offers? Or will teams hold tight with the offers the 76ers have already deemed unworthy?

Simmons obviously hopes another team takes more interest.

For now, he might settle for not getting fined daily.