The NBA fined Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob $50,000 for violating the team's anti-tampering rule following his comments about Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons.
Simmons' future is dominating headlines after 76ers head coach Doc Rivers confirmed on Wednesday that the three-time All-Star wants to leave Philadelphia.
The Warriors have emerged as a possible destination for Simmons since his forgettable 2020-21 playoff campaign with the 76ers.
But Lacob cast doubt over a Simmons trade during an interview, prompting a sanction from the NBA.
"In some ways, it doesn't really fit what we're doing," Lacob told the San Francisco Chronicle.
"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."
Rivers, midweek, told ESPN the 76ers will try to convince Simmons to stay with the franchise amid trade talk.
Simmons and his shooting problems were laid bare during the 2021 postseason with the top-seeded 76ers.
Former number one draft pick Simmons had no fourth-quarter field-goal attempts in his last four games of the playoffs last season. He is the only NBA player in the last 20 seasons to have four consecutive postseason games with no field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter during a season in which he was an All-Star.
Simmons averaged just 10.1 field-goal attempts in 2020-21 – a career low, which dropped to 7.9 in the playoffs. It is the same story with his scoring as it dropped to a career worst 14.3 points per game and 11.9 in the postseason – both career lows.
Then there is Simmons and free throws. He was exposed by rival teams as they regularly sent him to the line, with the Melbourne-born guard making just 25 of 73 shots in the 2020-21 playoffs. His 34.2 free-throw percentage is the lowest ever in a single postseason.