In the January 11th, Posted Up pod with Chris Haynes, Yahoo Sports colleague, Vincent Goodwill comes with strong intel on what might really be happening with the Ben Simmons situation in Philly after a bizarre sequence of events where Philly was undermanned for Sunday’s game vs. Denver, placing Simmons on the injured list with a sore knee at the 12th hour, and then being fined $25,000 by the league the next day for doing so. Was he suspended by the team? Is he actually injured? Is he about to be traded for Harden? You decide:
The 76er’s decided that night [after Seth Curry being pulled from the 2nd half of game vs Knicks due to a covid-19 test that came back positive] we are going to stay in New York while everything gets sorted out. What I have gathered was that Ben Simmons left New York that evening. he left New York and went to Philadelphia. Gotta…you know…apparently probably hired a driver from a service…..the team clearly found out. Here’s the one thing that we do know, Chris, because of the restaurant protocols and everything else that certain restaurants in places that you can’t go to. There are no restaurants in New York City that are approved [by the NBA], so if a team is staying in New York City they need to stay there. Apparently Ben Simmons said, ‘nah, I’m out’…I’m headed out, got a driver, went back to Philly. I believe the team found out. And I believe team security, as you know, team security knows these things, they’re like the CIA, you know what mean? They know what the writers are doing. This is like some serious stuff. So, they find out, Ben Simmons has to come back…and ‘magically’ he ends up on the injury report the next day, not playing’. Who knows how you want to connect the dots.
I’m seeing a lot of frustrated fans asking ‘why didn’t WE draft Tyrese Haliburton?!” but they don’t seem to understand how his agent warned lottery teams NOT to pick him so he could end up in Sacramento. I think the reporting from Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) on this episode of the Lowe Post podcast may have slipped through the cracks on a lot of post-draft analysis by fans and writers alike:
People are like, how did Haliburton fall so far?!… a lot of this was by design. The consistent theme that I kept hearing in the pre-draft process from agents was, “I hate the teams that are drafting in the top 10. I don’t want my guys with any of those franchises.” And so, they were very selective with who got medicals and they were openly telling teams, “don’t take my guy, please.” So I think, that is a big reason why Haliburton ended up going 12. He… he could have gone 6, I think, had he wanted to, but he was open to, you know, “let me sacrifice $7, 8 million because I think it’s going to end up working out in the long term with Sacramento”… and Zach, how many times can you say a player wants to go to Sacramento?! It’s incredible!!”
Great point worth taking note of from Ryen Rusillo on the recent Bill Simmons ‘Over/Under Mega Preview‘ pod on why we need to adjust our perspective after the last season’s shift away from the trend of franchises fighting to build super teams in order to win championships:
We spend a lot of time, if we had doubts about the Lakers, asking who the 3rd guy was all the time. If you look around the league right now, we kept asking ‘who’s that 3rd guy’s gonna be’, because of who Golden State was, then because of who the Miami Heat were, and then what Cleveland was once they brought Love in and returned there with Kyrie. There’s not really that 3 that scares you anymore. So, we kept looking at the Lakers wondering who the 3rd piece was, like it was mandatory to consider you a real title threat to have that third guy. You don’t really need it. You don’t really need it, because you’re not facing that Heat team, you’re not facing that Warriors team, or even that Cleveland team when things were right in ’16. So, it’s an important thing to remember about all of these teams chances. Stop using the ‘where’s the 3rd guy’ argument against us. And that was the lesson in the Lakers last year.