With the preseason officially underway, players are getting their first taste of what is to come over these next few months. While preseason is usually a stress-free stretch, it is an important time for teams to test some of their lineups, plays, and rotations before the start of the stuff that matters.
In Philadelphia, however, the story continues to be about Ben Simmons, who is apparently willing to forgo the preseason, and more, so long as he's in a Sixers jersey.
Obviously, it's a massive distraction for the team who not only has to deal with the absence of their second-best player but who also has to somehow manage to keep its players focused on playing their best.
Simmons, though, could be facing even worse consequences. If he continues to skip out on games, and Philly doesn't trade him, the young star could lose out on millions -- which, according to Bobby Marks and Tim Bontemps, he might be unable to get back.
The fine falls under the agreement spelled out between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association in the Health and Safety Protocols, where a player who is unable to play due to "reasonable cause" will have his compensation for this season reduced by 1/91.6th (about 1.09%) of the player's base compensation for each game he misses.
In the event Simmons skips all four of the 76ers' preseason games, Simmons will lose roughly $1.4 million in fines. If he's traded, for example, on Nov. 19 -- a month into the regular season -- he will lose roughly $7.2 million in salary.
This is not money Simmons can get back in the event Philadelphia eventually accedes to his wish to be traded. The team that chooses to trade for him cannot agree to pay Simmons the money he is owed in fines from Philadelphia. Instead, Simmons would only be able to get some, or all, of the fine money back by coming to a settlement with the 76ers, who would have no incentive to do so.
It is worth noting that while Ben's value is at an all-time low, the Sixers still hold all the leverage. Simmons is locked into the team until 2025, thanks to the massive extension he signed back in 2019.
Besides the drama that will loom over them, the Sixers have no incentive to trade Simmons anytime soon, just like they have no incentive to give him back the money he is forfeiting by refusing to play.
It's a messy situation that isn't particularly ideal for either side. It really makes you wonder who will crack first...