Old reports resurface claiming Ben Simmons the main reason for the Sixers to not re-sign Jimmy Butler in 2019 summer.
The last few days have not been pleasant for Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons. The point guard has been slandered on social media by NBA fans for his horrendous performances against the Atlanta Hawks. The 2018 Rookie of the year was criticised by NBA experts aswell after the Sixers were eliminated in the second round.
In 12 playoffs matches this season the Australian native has averaged 11.9 points per game. Along with 8.8 assists and 7.9 rebounds but he only shot 34% from the free throw line.
It is the worst free throw shooting percentage in NBA Playoffs history. To put the matter into perspective, he missed more free throws in these 12 matches than Steven Nash missed in his entire NBA Playoffs career.
Amidst the slander and the criticisms, a new rumor surrounding an old story has come up. The timing of the rumours cannot be called perfect for Simmons as it would increase the wrath of the Sixers fans. T
he story is about Jimmy Butler and his time at Philly and how the Sixers decided against signing the Miami Heat star. It was in the summer of 2019 when the Sixers decided to keep Ben Simmons over Jimmy Butler.
Ben Simmons grew frustrated with Jimmy Butler
According to Fox Sports’ Yaron Weitzman, the dismissal of Butler had a lot to do with Ben Simmons. Hence the Sixers front office decided against re-signing the forward. On the court, Butler and Simmons’ duties overlapped and the latter was not very happy about it.
“Name me one area where Ben Simmons has improved,” former 76ers assistant Jim O’Brien asked his colleagues.
The room fell silent.
— Yaron Weitzman (@YaronWeitzman) June 21, 2021
According to league sources, Simmons’ frustration at being relegated to off-ball duty during the team’s 2019 second-round loss to the Raptors contributed to the front office’s decision to not re-sign Jimmy Butler.
Brown had handed Butler the keys to the offense, and management was worried how Simmons would handle having Butler around and monopolizing crunch-time playmaking duties for multiple years.”
Butler ended up at Miami Heat in a sign and trade deal as Simmons remained with the Sixers. Looking in hindsight, Butler has been a metronome for the Heat in these years. He has guided a young side to the NBA Finals and also became an NBA All Star.
The Sixers, meanwhile, have failed to break the jinx of the Conference Semifinals. This year again they were held by the Hawks despite finishing the top seed in the regular season.
There is no secret that the Sixers would have been in a great position had they kept Butler. They could have handled the offense better than Simmons. So it is fair to say that the front office at Philly messed up big time. But it also proves what they think of Simmons and his future with the franchise.