The Ben Simmons circus has shown no signs of slowing down as more news broke last night regarding the ongoing financial dispute between the Sixers and Simmons’ camp. There has been a constant battle regarding if Simmons should be paid since he made the decision not to return to the Sixers. After Simmons failed to travel with the Sixers to their six-game west-coast trip, Daryl Morey elected to let the fines fly once again.
This situation took a turn last week when Rich Paul took to the press to emphasize the seriousness of the mental health situation that Ben Simmons is facing. The powerful agent looked to shift the conversation from finding a trade to getting Simmons the help he needed.
As Simmons’ agent, Rich Paul is 100% right to have his best interest in mind. It is not up to anyone to decide the seriousness of the situation that Simmons is facing. The 3-time all-star is in a position that is impossible to imagine any of us in, and he has been dragged through the mud all offseason following his poor playoff performance.
Earlier this month, Paul told The Athletic:
As much as Rich Paul wants to twist the narrative, it is important to note that the Sixers are not being unreasonable in their requests. Daryl Morey had stopped fining Simmons as he sought help for the mental health struggles he is facing but simply requested the documentation from the specialist Ben is working with. When this documentation was not provided, the fines resumed.
As The Athletic’s Shams Charania put it, “The team’s positioning has been that until there’s information otherwise from their metal health specialist or Simmons, he should be expected to ramp back up for a return to the court.”
It is certainly true that the Sixers’ end goal is to get Ben Simmons back on the court, but this should be the same for both sides. Just as if this were a physical injury he is dealing with, the Sixers would request information about the rehab and recovery. It is clear that there is no longer good faith between Simmons and the Sixers, but the organization is not out of line in their requests in this situation.
The former number one overall pick has recently been spotted at Saint Joe’s University on multiple occasions, where he is going through individual workouts behind closed doors. For the moment, the Sixers will continue on their six-game road trip and look to get back on track as a team.
Simmons will continue with his individual workouts and seek the mental health help that he sees necessary. If these paths ever cross again is still to be determined, but for the moment, Simmons’ bank account will continue to take the hits.