Sun. Oct 24th, 2021

Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers

Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers. Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images/AFP 

Even though Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob seemed to want to distance his team from pesky trade rumors, the NBA viewed his comments about Ben Simmons as tampering all the same.

The league fined Lacob $50,000 Wednesday for violating its anti-tampering rule in response to comments he made to the San Francisco Chronicle about the Philadelphia 76ers’ disgruntled star.

Multiple reports have said Simmons told Philadelphia he wants to be traded and will not report to training camp, nor play another game for the franchise.

A Western Conference executive told the Philadelphia Inquirer last month that Simmons has his sights set on “three California teams” — presumably the Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, all of whom are pushing for an NBA title.

Stephen Curry talks to Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP

In his interview with the Chronicle, Lacob was asked about the Warriors’ interest in the three-time All-Star guard, who has received criticism for his poor shooting performances in the playoffs.

“I think we are always looking at everything to see if we can improve our team. We would always look,” Lacob said. “In some ways, (a trade for Simmons) 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 (Green). 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.”

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