Philadelphia 76ers general manager Elton Brand held a conference call with media members on Tuesday, and while he didn't provide any new information regarding the status of the suspended 2019-20 NBA season, he did offer a positive update on their All-Star guard.
Ben Simmons, who was dealing with a lower back impingement before the season was shut down indefinitely in March due to the coronavirus, is doing "really, really well" and could be healthy and available should games ultimately resume, according to Brand.
"I give Ben and our medical staff a ton of credit for all their hard work throughout his recovery," Brand said. "I give Ben so much credit for him working so hard through this unknown time. Fortunately, we've been able to arrange the necessary treatment and rehab he needs during this hiatus ... I'm very optimistic he'll be ready to play if and when we're given that green light to resume."
While Simmons appears ready to get back out on the floor, the season is still in a holding pattern and there's no telling when -- or if -- the NBA resumes play. Brand did add that he's been in regular contact with commissioner Adam Silver, and that the league is considering all options in an attempt to get back to basketball.
"Right now, I'm on a weekly GM call with [commissioner] Adam Silver," Brand said. "They're looking at all options. It is too early to speculate on what it's going to be this year, but it's going to be based on safety. It's going to be based on health. It's going to be based on data, not a date. We'll figure out everything else from there ... We're preparing for every scenario that we can right now. I'm very hopeful the season will resume so we can get back out there and compete once it's deemed safe."
Brand is optimistic that the season will continue, and the Sixers are preparing as if it will, too. He revealed that the team has been game-planning for the third-seeded Boston Celtics, who would play No. 6 Philadelphia in the first round of the playoffs should the current season standings hold.
"I want to see this team in the playoffs; I've said it many times," Brand said. "That is what we're built for, so I want to see that. But I know it's going to be based on the data, the safety, and health of not just us, but of our community. But we are preparing as if we are going to go to the playoffs and play the Celtics."
There is still a ton of uncertainty surrounding the NBA's immediate future, but should the season ultimately resume, the long layoff could prove to work in Philadelphia's favor, as it provided Simmons with ample time to recover.