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The Ben Simmons saga has taken another dramatic turn with The Athletic and Stadium NBA insider Shams Charania reporting that the 76ers and Simmons’ agent, Rich Paul, are seeking to find a resolution to have him return to Philadelphia for the upcoming season.
The three-time All Star seemed destined to be in another uniform this season after requesting a trade and sitting out the entirety of training camp. Simmons’ tune seems to have changed with Paul and 76ers general manager Daryl Morey looking to have Simmons back by the end of the week. Simmons has already lost out on $720,000 by refusing to report to camp and the 76ers have transferred $8.25 million of his salary in an escrow account.
Simmons was previously on the trade market with teams such as the Cavaliers and Kings being in the running for his services. It was just Friday that The Athletic editor in chief David Aldridge said that Simmons was open to playing for Sacramento and his desire was strong to get out of Philadelphia.
Simmons now faces a reality where he’s back in “The City of Brotherly Love”, under head coach Doc Rivers, who has continuously said that he wants Simmons back.
But do the fans want Simmons back? Simmons has been vocal about his desire to leave Philadelphia, and his words have left a sour taste in the mouths of 76ers fans. That was evident during last Wednesday’s taping of AEW Rampage, which took place in Philadelphia. The boisterous Philadelphia crowd started a loud “f**k Ben Simmons” chant, which made the rounds on social media shortly after.
If Simmons does indeed return, it’ll be a huge lift to the 76ers, who are looking to win their first NBA title since 1983. The team signed big man Andre Drummond in the offseason to compliment Joel Embiid down low, but they need their point general to be able to compete and Morey knows that.
“Ben is a very good player, a big part of this team,” Morey told reporters last month. “We are disappointed he’s not here. We’re making our choices, but we’re excited about the players who are here. We’re going to focus on them, and we’re taking our journey to be a championship team. We don’t know exactly what that will be.
“In terms of what trades or non-trades, I only have one focus, and that’s to do what gives us the best chance to win a championship.”