Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers made peace after the forward talked to the team and stated he was not ready to play. The team accepted his decision, started paying him again despite not playing, and waited for his return. However, the recent turn of events puts the agreement at risk.
Ben Simmons is not ready to play yet
Simmons earned the anger of the management again after president Daryl Morey approached the wantaway forward for clarification on his return. Ben revealed he was not ready to play yet. As a result, the Sixers fined their player $360,000 for missing a game and failing to cooperate with team doctors to aid his mental health issues and perform other basketball-related activities.
The 25-year-old allegedly refused to show proof of his mental health meetings and treatments. Ben also refused the mental health assistance provided by the Sixers. In this case, without proof and refusing to cooperate, Sixers has a reason to doubt the claims of Simmons about his mental health problems. Fans are wondering how the 4-year veteran managed to erode the trust and wasted the second chance given to him. Joel Embiid, who made loaded comments during last year’s playoffs, openly accepted Simmons back and asked Philly fans for support.
If Simmons is still not mentally prepared yet to play, it’s within his right to delay his comeback. However, mental health is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly or used as means to force a trade.
The Sixers need to decide soon
It’s fair to say Philadelphia extended all the support they could. The fans deserve better. By fining Simmons or waiting for a gamechanger in exchange for the point-forward, they are just prolonging the agony of everyone. A breakup is never easy. They envisioned Simmons to be an integral part of the franchise’s future together with Joel Embiid, but things happened, and right now, the best way is to cut losses ASAP, trigger a trade, accept several future picks, and a serviceable player to get it done.
Simmons and the Sixers need to understand that teams will not sacrifice their star for the Australian, given how he acted in recent months. Had Ben handled things professionally, he could be playing elsewhere now. Using mental health as a shield without proof leaves a bad taste because the trust is no longer there.
The Sixers need help now, as they continue the season without Tobias Harris and Danny Green. Embiid is hobbling, and while Seth Curry and Tyrese Maxey provide much-needed scoring and stability, there’s no way they can sustain that throughout the season.
Fining Simmons won’t make any difference if he’s set his mind not to play again for the Sixers. Daryl Morey must find a trading partner soon before everyone gets dragged in this divorce waiting to happen.