By Jerry Wein
The Sixers are evidently taking Charles Barkley’s advice about overrated, overpaid Ben Simmons, and they are playing hardball:
Show up on time to training camp on Sept. 28 ready to play or face suspension and fines.
That’s because big boss Daryl Morey has been shopping the 6-10 guard who won’t even look at the basket, let alone shoot, and there are no takers.
Sure, Morey could settle for pennies on the dollar just to get rid of Simmons, who has become a snowflake pain in the ass, but he will not do that.
Unable to secure a top NBA player in return for embattled all-star Ben Simmons and unwilling to settle for young players and draft picks with franchise cornerstone Joel Embiid in his prime, the 76ers are expecting/hoping Simmons will be back playing with the team soon, according to an NBA source.
Simmons, 25, told the Sixers late last month that he wanted to be traded and didn’t plan to report to camp, which begins Sept. 28 in Camden. The Simmons camp, including mega-agent Rich Paul, has given no indication anything has changed over the past 3½ weeks.
“It’s bumpy right now,” the source said. “Right now, they’re saying he’s not going to show up at the beginning. Eventually he’s going to show up. (The Sixers will) go from there.”
Morey has explored all available trade possibilities and hasn’t been able to secure a top 5-10 player in exchange for Simmons, a three-time all-star selection and NBA Defensive Player of the Year runner-up last season. The TBlazers, for example, aren’t willing to part with star guard Damian Lillard.