The NBA season is about to resume, which is good news. It seems like it was only yesterday that the Milwaukee Bucks were celebrating their first NBA chip at the expense of the Phoenix Suns. Needless to say, the Ben Simmons drama has already begun. Chris Broussard of First Things First reports that Simmons wants out that Simmons wants out of Philly:
Broussard: “I was surprised he wouldn’t go to training camp … I was told by someone who absolutely knows what’s going on … here’s the news that Ben Simmons is willing to go play anywhere – for anyone of the 29 teams -except for the 76ers … He wants to go anywhere. The teams that are out there – Minnesota, Toronto – those are the teams that are really engaged with serious talks with Philadelphia, I’m told Ben Simmons would go there. That’s how much he wants out of Philadelphia …
There’s just a feeling they haven’t used Ben properly, haven’t developed him properly. Last year, the comments after the Hawks series from Doc Rivers and Joel Embiid didn’t help … I think this could really ugly at the beginning of training camp if they (Philly) don’t do it.
The Philadelphia 76ers were knocked off in the second round of the playoffs by the Atlanta Hawks in seven games. It was an ignominious end for the 76ers who were expected to be one of best teams in the East after having lottery picks and several drafts over the past decade. It was also an ignominious end for Ben Simmons who did not play that well, to say the least. Simmons shot horribly from outside during the playoffs and his free throw shooting was abysmal. In one game the Hawks, down 26 points, came by to win after employing “hack-a-Ben” and watching Simmons miss key free throws in key moments.
The Philly fans and the media were brutal on Ben. Coach Doc Rivers was non-committal on whether Ben could be the point guard of the future in Philly. After his playoff performance, Simmons’ status as an all-star could be in jeopardy. He has to improve his outside shooting and free throw shooting if he wants to help Philly go deep into the playoffs for even make a championship run – that could take a while. If it doesn’t work out, Simmons could lose his current stature and even money when his contract resumes. It appears Simmons wants out before it comes to that.