PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ben Simmons will not report to Philadelphia 76ers' training camp next week and prefers to continue his NBA career with another team, a person with direct knowledge of the player's plans told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because discussions of Simmons' plans with the franchise have been private. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported that Simmons would not report.
Simmons, the No. 1 pick of the 2016 draft, is a three-time All-Star who had been paired with Joel Embiid as the franchise cornerstones as the Sixers chase their first NBA championship since 1983.
Simmons, though, took the brunt of the blame for the top-seeded Sixers' second-round exit in last season's playoffs. Simmons shot 34% from the free-throw line in the playoffs and was reluctant to attempt a shot from anywhere on the floor late in games. That led to him spending critical minutes on the bench.
Simmons just finished the first year of a $177 million max deal.
Simmons shot 25 for 73 (34%) from the line in the playoffs and missed 27 alone in the second round against the Atlanta Hawks. He is a 5-for-34 career 3-point shooter over four NBA seasons.
Asked after the Game 7 loss if Simmons could still be a point guard for a championship contender, coach Doc Rivers said he didn't have an answer.
Embiid also pointed a finger at Simmons for the loss, the comments seemingly creating a rift that will see the 25-year-old guard from Australia likely never play a game again for the Sixers.
The 76ers are scheduled to have media day on Monday, with training camp opening the next day at their complex in Camden, New Jersey.