The recent controversy over Kyrie Irving, star point guard for the Brooklyn Nets, and his stance on vaccination has not only the basketball world talking but also the wider community. So where does it leave Patty Mills?
All-Star point guard Ben Simmons has informed the Philadelphia 76ers that he wants out of town and will not report to the NBA team’s training camp, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Tuesday.
The Sixers and Simmons appear headed for a sour parting after Philadelphia bowed out in the Eastern Conference semi-finals in June.
The Australian star received blame from coach Doc Rivers and teammate Joel Embiid immediately after the 76ers exit from the playoffs.
Despite subsequent backtracking it appears the sting was too much to get past.
The report states that Simmons’ agent Rich Paul wants shooting guard Tyrese Maxey packaged up with the 2016 No.1 draft pick and sent to a franchise in California.
“He wants to go to three California teams,” a Western Conference executive told the Inquirer.
“There’s so much bad blood between him and the team.”
Simmons is entering the second year of a five-year, $177.2 million ($A285m) contract and is due $33m ($A53m) in salary in 2021-22.
Though Simmons is considered a talented playmaker and defender, his inability – or unwillingness – to take shots reared its head during the series loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
Rivers said he didn’t “know the answer to that right now” when asked if Simmons could be the starting point guard of a championship team.
NBA journalist Marc Stein reported that the Sixers have known of Simmons’ desire to be traded “for some time.”
The 76ers have not commented on the reports but it’s understood they have been discussing trades involving Simmons since July.
A three-time All-Star, Simmons has started all 275 games he has played in four NBA seasons, all with the 76ers.
He has career averages of 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game.
The 76ers are scheduled to open camp September 28.
Simmons, 25, opted out of representing Australia at the Tokyo Olympics – at which they ended long wait for a maiden medal at a major tournament by winning bronze – to work on his game during the NBA off-season.