Basketball fans didn't know what to believe when former NBA big man Kendrick Perkins casually threw out there that Ben Simmons is willing to hold out from Sixers training camp next month if he isn't moved to another team this offseason.
Some bought into the rumor while others scoffed at it and believed Perkins was just throwing fuel onto the fire of the Ben Simmons saga for attention purposes.
But then Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice reported that Perkins isn't totally off base with the idea that Simmons might not show up to the Sixers' practice facility in Camden, New Jersey, for training camp ahead of the 2021-2022 season.
While Simmons mentioned that he would like to remain in Philly for next season following the Sixers' disappointing Game 7 loss against the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the playoffs back in June, a lot has changed since then.
For starters, Simmons began seeing his name thrown around in trade rumors for the second time in less than a year. Ever since Daryl Morey signed on to become the Sixers' President of Basketball Operations, he made it clear that while Simmons might carry an expensive price tag, he's not untouchable.
Understanding that he could be traded at this point in his career, Simmons is reportedly open to a fresh start elsewhere. Plus, he's rumored to have issues with the team's head coach Doc Rivers after one season.
As numerous reports continue to peel back the curtain, revealing more details on the situation, an anonymous scout who spoke with The Ringer's Paolo Uggetti reiterated that Simmons is certainly a potential holdout candidate if he isn't traded.
"So far this summer, Simmons has been linked to the Warriors, Wolves, Blazers, and Spurs in trade talks. And one scout I spoke to said they wouldn’t be surprised if Simmons considers not showing up to training camp if he hasn’t been traded."
The Sixers are reportedly targeting Portland Trail Blazers star, Damian Lillard. Right now, it seems Lillard is willing to give the Blazers another shot. So, at this point, he's expected to start the year in Portland, barring any notable changes in the coming weeks.
In addition to Lillard's unwillingness to change his mind about Portland, the Sixers continue to keep the price tag on Simmons sky-high. Teams are interested, but they aren't taking the bait that Morey is currently dangling in front of them.
As the Sixers President continues to play hardball with interested suitors, Simmons remains a member of the Sixers. What will he do if the 76ers can't find him a new home in a little over a month? That's the big question looming around Philly. Judging based on several reports, it seems there is a real chance Simmons is a no-show at training camp this offseason.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.