'Don't believe that': Andrew Bogut rips 76ers over Ben Simmons claim

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Andrew Bogut says the Philadelphia 76ers are being unnecessarily stubborn in their reluctance to trade Ben Simmons. Pictures: Getty Images
Andrew Bogut says the Philadelphia 76ers are being unnecessarily stubborn in their reluctance to trade Ben Simmons. Pictures: Getty Images

Andrew Bogut has the Philadelphia 76ers are bluffing by suggesting they are willing to let the Ben Simmons trade saga drag out for the full length of the former No.1 draft pick's contract.

Simmons' trade request after last season's disastrous playoff exit resulted in a protracted off-season standoff, which has also cooled the trade market for the wantaway Australian.

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The 76ers fined Simmons after he refused to report to training camp or preseason games, but Simmons' eventual return to the team saw the disgruntled guard kicked out of his second practice with the team.

He's since taken leave from the team to deal with mental health issues, however this also became a bone of contention with the 76ers after Simmons declined to utilise the team's specialists.

Simmons was once again fined by the team for not disclosing certain details of his treatment, a move which the 76ers were heavily criticised for but which nonetheless resulted in Simmons choosing to use the team's preferred resources.

Philadelphia general manager Daryl Morey had threatened before the season that he would be fine with letting the saga play out for the remaining four years of Simmons' contract.

Morey has been determined to get back a player he considers of equal calibre to the three-time All Star, but Bogut said both sides' stubbornness was clearly not in either party's best interest.

The 76ers have until the February 10 trade deadline to move Simmons this season, after which they'll have to wait until the season is over.

“The further it goes, the worse it gets for both parties to be honest,” Bogut said.

“The closer they get to trade deadline, his value gets lower and lower because once the trade deadline passes, then what are they going to do?

“Philly’s trying to push for a playoff, potential championship run — Joel Embiid’s not getting any younger. They can arguably flip him for someone that can help them get over the line to that championship right now."

Andrew Bogut critical of both sides in Ben Simmons saga

Bogut, himself a former No.1 pick who went on to win an NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2015, said staying on the sidelines was equally bad for Simmons.

His trade value was undoubtedly impacted by the continued lack of real development in his shooting, most notably from the free throw line. 

Simmons was last on an NBA court in June, for the 76ers' game seven loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

“Daryl Morey, the GM, is posturing that if he has to keep him (Simmons) for four years, he will. I don’t believe that for a second," Bogut said.

“And then on the flip side, Ben needs to play basketball. He has not played an NBA game for six months, and it could end up being a year if he doesn’t get traded.”

Ben Simmons has agreed to see a mental health specialist provided by the 76ers, after the team fined him once again after he refused to detail his work with outside consultants. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Ben Simmons has agreed to see a mental health specialist provided by the 76ers, after the team fined him once again after he refused to detail his work with outside consultants. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The 76ers have come under increasing scrutiny for their refusal to budge on Simmons' value.

A recent report indicated the Boston Celtics had interest in a trade, but were put off by the demand of All Star Jaylen Brown in return.

Brown was drafted third overall behind Simmons in 2016.

“I’m not so sure I’ve ever seen a player more devalued by his own team than Ben Simmons and it goes on to this day," ESPN's Brian Windhorst said in a podcast for Sportsnet. 

He had been describing that he'd learned soon after becoming involved in the NBA that no matter how poorly a player was viewed by their own team, that publicly criticising that player was the last thing you should do.

“What they’ve done since then has been unconscionable, the way they’ve devalued him," he said.

"And I just don’t understand why a guy like (76ers GM) Daryl Morey, who’s one of the smartest guys in the league, would condone the over and over and over devaluing of this guy."

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