Simmons has told the team that he needs more time to get his mental state to a place where he’s able to perform. However, the 25-year-old has refused the Sixers’ off-court help, which seems to be causing some frustration within the organization.
In the latest development, Philadelphia has reportedly resumed fining the former first-round pick.
“The Philadelphia 76ers fined All-Star guard Ben Simmons his $360,000 game salary for missing Thursday night’s victory over the Detroit Pistons and plan to continue fining him until he cooperates with team physicians on his mental health issues and fulfills other basketball-related obligations, sources told ESPN on Friday,” wrote Adrian Wojnarowski.
“The Sixers will again place Simmons’ future salary into an escrow account, sources said. Earlier this season, the Sixers released Simmons’ money from escrow after he had been initially cooperative on a path toward returning to play.
“Sixers officials believe they have been supportive of Simmons’ stated need for mental health assistance and are left no choice but for these actions in response to the three-time All-Star’s refusal to provide basic details of his course of mental health meetings, evaluation or treatments or to accept consultation with any specialists arranged by the team, sources said. Simmons has worked with mental health professionals via the National Basketball Players Association.”
The Sixers are off to a fast start this season despite the fact that Simmons hasn’t been available. The team is 7-2 through nine games, which is the best record in the Eastern Conference.
It remains to be seen how the Simmons situation will unfold. If the guard eventually does return to game action for the Sixers, the team will get a big boost.
Simmons has career averages of 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game, and he’s also a very valuable defender.