Ben Simmons wants the 76ers to trade him as soon as possible. Philadelphia president of basketball operations Daryl Morey wants to get a big return package that allows the team to compete for a championship. There has been no significant traction on a deal yet, leaving Simmons in basketball purgatory. Lather, rinse repeat.
So, what happens if the Sixers keep the three-time All-Star past the Feb. 10 trade deadline? Unless Simmons suddenly returns to the court, which seems highly unlikely at this point, he is going to lose a lot of money.
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As part of an in-depth feature on the Simmons saga, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne provided new details on how much Simmons has lost — and how much more he could lose — during the 2021-22 season. He was set to earn $33 million this season as part of the five-year, $177.2 million extension he signed in 2019, but the 76ers have been regularly fining him for “failing to render services.”
From Shelburne’s story:
Simmons has lost over $19 million in fines since the season began (each missed game costs him $360,000). He hasn’t cleared a paycheck since the $8.25 million (25% of his $33 million salary) that was due to him Oct. 1. Every two weeks the team sends a notice with an explanation of all the fines he has accumulated for failing to render services, instead of a $1.375 million paycheck. By the end of the season, if he does not play for the Sixers or any other team, Simmons could lose another $12 million.
Simmons has made more than $60 million in his NBA career, and at just 25 years old, he should be able to sign more lucrative contracts before he retires. He could also reach a settlement with the Sixers in arbitration. Still, it is jarring to see anyone leave approximately $31 million on the table.
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Is Simmons really willing to sit out the full season knowing those paychecks will continue disappearing? One source close to Simmons gave Shelburne a blunt response to that question.
“We don’t give af— about the money,” the source said. “That’s not what this is. It’s hard for people to understand. But if you believe in what you’re doing and that this is not the right situation for you, and you’re trying to get to a better place, the money doesn’t ‘t matter. Obviously it’s a financial hit. But you adjust.”
It seems as though Simmons has already mentally moved on, even if he remains a part of Philadelphia’s roster — and no amount of money is going to bring him back.