The Ben Simmons-Philadelphia 76ers standoff keeps getting uglier.
The Sixers delivered the latest indication that Simmons has played his last minute for the team when the team opted to withhold an $8.25 million payment — 25% of Simmons' $33 million salary — due on Friday, per Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer and The Athletic's Shams Charania.
According to ESPN's Tim Bontemps, the money has been placed in an escrow account, from which the Sixers will deduct any fines Simmons racks up by not showing up for training camp.
How much does Ben Simmons not want to be Sixer anymore?
The 25-year-old reportedly believes his tenure in Philadelphia is over to the point that he turned away teammates, including Joel Embiid, from meeting him in Los Angeles to try to smooth things over and has been reported to believe Embiid's style of play is not compatible to his own (which is accurate in a way, but let's just say there are more players out there who work with Embiid at center than Simmons at point guard).
Embiid certainly didn't seem to appreciate that sniping, as he went out of his way to explain how the Sixers have built their entire team around Simmons' needs and openly questioned the decision to drop Jimmy Butler to get the ball in Simmons' hands. The All-Star center said he still wanted Simmons back on the team, though.
That may take some massive shifts. Simmons has been reported to be willing to sit out the entire season to get a trade. The Sixers reportedly paid him one installment of $8.25 million earlier this year, but that may be the end of the payouts. However, some have speculated Simmons could try to get his money by simply reporting to camp and claiming an injury.
Simmons is currently entering the second year of a five-year, $177 million contract extension he signed in 2019. Between that salary, Simmons' well-known on-court limitations and the public way this has all played out, finding an adequate trade offer may be difficult for the Sixers.