Ben Simmons’ NBA career is in limbo, but Boomers legend Andrew Gaze believes there can be an amicable way forward for both Simmons and Philadelphia.
Australian great Andrew Gaze has urged Philadelphia to end the Ben Simmons trade saga, declaring the messy standoff is damaging both parties’ reputations.
Simmons’ NBA future remains in limbo after he informed 76ers officials he no longer wanted to be part of the franchise despite having four seasons and a whopping $147m left on his contract.
The Melbourne-born guard is so disillusioned with the club’s lack of support through his shooting struggles and longstanding desire to trade him that he is willing to pay fines of $308,000 a day to miss training camp.
Philadelphia had been attempting to find a suitable trade for Simmons, but according to reports the club has accepted it will not receive what they want for him.
As a result, the 76ers now expect the Aussie star to play in the blue and white for the 2021/22 season.
Gaze understands why Philadelphia wants to stand firm on Simmons to maximise his trade value, but he believes the standoff is doing more damage than good.
“To have such a distaste and will not to be a part of an organisation that you are willing to sacrifice millions of dollars, that to me says there is a very high level of distrust and dissatisfaction with the club for Ben,” Gaze said.
“And two, you’ve got enough money that those types of issues aren’t as significant.
“But I would like to think, and maybe I live in gaga land, but I would like to see a way in which the club and the player can move on where it is in everyone’s best interests.
“That means Ben leaves and has some understanding about the destination he is trying to get to, and the club understands that because of the bad blood and form that they can’t get what he is worth on the market.
“This seems farcical given the situation, but to me if there is an amicable way you can go about it, then it is the best result for both parties and you don’t sacrifice millions of dollars doing it.”
Gaze would like to see Philadelphia follow a similar path to how Houston is handling disgruntled guard John Wall.
Wall and the Rockets have mutually agreed to work together on finding a new team for Wall despite the five-time All-Star having two seasons left on his deal.
Reports indicate that Wall will be present at training camp, but he will not play in any games for the Rockets this season.
Gaze believes the 76ers could secure a similar deal with Simmons.
“There have been example where this type of situation has been done more amicably and less publicly,” he said.
“You’ve got a guy in Wall who is owed close to $100 million, and he has got two years left, but they have mutually agreed that he won’t play until they work out a trade, but he will still get all his entitlements.
“On the flip side you have Ben who is clearly upset with how the club handled his form in the playoffs and has said this isn’t the right environment for me.
“So, it is a very difficult situation for both parties and there is a lot of posturing going on.
“But when you’ve got such a significant asset like Ben that is when it can get a little bit tricky.”