Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob has been fined $50,000 by the NBA for his comments in an article at The San Francisco Chronicle about Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons, according to a league press release.
Simmons, of course, has been at the center of trade rumors all offseason after the 76ers were unable to reach the NBA Finals. A former first overall pick in the draft, Simmons has one of the most unique skillsets in the league, combining elite defensive versatility with fantastic passing. However, his inconsistencies as a scorer, including an occasional refusal to shoot, have made him an enigmatic player.
While his on-court limitations have clearly contributed to his falling out in Philadelphia, Simmons and the organization have seemed to find mutual frustrations with each other. Now, Simmons is trying to expedite his exit from the 76ers’ organization, informing the franchise he will not attend training camp with the team.
The Warriors’ collection of young talent alongside a pair of players with comparable contracts to Simmons (Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green) has fueled plenty of trade speculation. Lacob, however, quelled those rumors with a fairly strong statement for The Chronicle:
“In some ways, it doesn’t really fit what we’re doing. He makes a lot of money. And, can he finish games? I don’t know ... He’s very talented. The problem is: We have Draymond. Draymond and him are very similar in the sense that neither one really shoots and they do a lot of the playmaking. That’s one issue. The salary structure is another.” -Joe Lacob
Ironically, Rusty Simmons wrote that Lacob was “being careful not to get fined for tampering” when he made his comments, but the NBA thought Lacob violated anti-tampering rules.