Ben Simmons started a tense staring contest this offseason, but the Philadelphia 76ers are refusing to blink.
Beat reporter Tom Moore revealed on Wednesday that the Sixers are expecting the situation with Simmons to get better and for the three-time All-Star to play in the 2021-22 season. Moore adds that the team plans to fine Simmons if he does not attend training camp, preseason and so on, but the 76ers expect him to show up eventually. The Sixers allegedly cannot get any of the five to 10 NBA guys they like right now in a trade for Simmons. The team does not want to trade for draft picks or to make a deal that will set them back in the standings.
Simmons, who is under contract through 2025, formally requested a trade from Philly this summer and has no desire to fix the situation with them. Unsurprisingly, the local fans seem to have turned on Simmons as well, making a return to the team next season even less viable.
All signs point to Simmons doing everything in his power to force a move, but he still needs the Sixers to cave in order for him to get his wish. For now, it sounds like the team is ready to give Simmons some hardball right back.