Aussie basketball player Ben Simmons, who is embroiled in a drama with his NBA team and hasn’t played at all this season, is apparently using some of his free time to get more into crypto and NFTs.

The Melbourne-born point guard on Saturday paid 100 Ethereum (US$270,000) for Bored Ape #5164, adding to a sizeable NFT collection spread across two wallets.

Simmons joined Opensea in October but appears to have really gotten into NFTs three weeks ago.

That’s when he bought Mutant Ape 2705 for 19 Ether ($US60,000), minted 10 Agent1s, and paid 7 Ether (US$18,900) for Women #1552 from the World of Women collection.

Simmons appears to have flipped Woman #1552, selling it for 10 Ether just 10 days after he bought it. (In dollar terms, his profit wasn’t as impressive – just US$509, because the price of Ethereum has been crashing this month).

Simmons also owns Lil Baby Doodles, a Damien Hirst piece he paid four Ether for, HAPE Prime apes, Azuki, My Pet Hooligans, CryptoBatz, Hearts, Robotos and others.

All told his main wallet holds 15 NFTs that estimates are worth a total of $78,861.

His “vault” account holds 11 NFTs worth a total of US$534,156, according to Zapper.

Buying the Bored Ape for 100 Ether may sound absurd, but it appears to have been a savvy move. Ape prices continue to soar, with a 118.69 Ether minimum for one right now.

Simmons also last week joined Aussie crypto gaming league PerionDAO as an ambassador and strategic advisor.

According to a press release, Simmons is an avid gamer who will use Perion to “reach a previously untapped community of gamers and crypto curious athletes” and help provide the best metaverse assets to under-served gamers, many of whom are gaming for their main source of income.

“I’ve always been a gamer and a part of the gaming community for years,” Simmons said in the press release. “What Perion is doing is so important when it comes to getting more people involved and unleashing the competitive spirit of gamers all over the world. Seeing the direction gaming is heading, I’m excited to partner with Perion to help shape what this can look like for the future of play to earn.”

“Having Ben on the Perion team means a lot to us,” said Perion co-founder Amos Whitewolf. “Ben’s story resonates with a large segment of our community; people from humble backgrounds dedicated to mastering their craft and changing their fortunes. On top of the already immense talent he brings on the court, he’s now bringing that success to a different kind of game – one that has the potential to impact the masses. Play to earn is quickly becoming one of the most vital tools we’ve seen for raising living conditions in the developing world.”

Simmons currently says he’s not mentally ready to play for the 76ers, part of a complicated drama that appears to have its roots in his role in the team’s Game 7 loss last June in the Eastern Conference semi-finals. The 76ers have a week and a half to trade him.