A surprising twist in the Ben Simmons saga with the Philadelphia 76ers just emerged Monday morning, after ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Simmons' agent, Rich Paul, has been in talks with the Sixers to get the All-Star guard to rejoin the team as early as this week. While Simmons hasn't talked with team officials since August, it's reportedly possible that could change in the coming days.
This is rather surprising given that previous reports have suggested that Simmons has been adamant about not coming back to the franchise, and he reportedly even packed up his house in Philadelphia with it expected to be put up for sale soon. Yet it appears the chances of him coming back into the fold with the Sixers aren't as outlandish as many originally thought.
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However, this doesn't mean that Simmons suddenly wants to play with the Sixers. It's already been reported that he has no interest in playing alongside Joel Embiid any longer, due to the big man's style of play limiting Simmons' best qualities on offense. The Sixers still plan on trying to find a trade partner for Simmons, per Wojnarowski. But if they can get the All-Defensive guard back on the team, the hope is to try and convince him to stay with the team long term.
This development makes sense for both sides of this quarrel. For the Sixers, they never wanted to get rid of Simmons in the first place, and the team's position has always been that they want to continue to build around Simmons and Embiid.
For Simmons, while he still may feel slighted by the organization, from a financial standpoint, every week he goes without reporting to the team he's losing money. The Sixers already refused to pay him his $8.25 million that was owed to him on Oct. 1, and for every game he misses, including preseason, he stands to lose over $227,000. If for no other reason than that, it would make sense for him to rejoin the team.
The wrinkle in this whole situation, though, is the potential tension his return could create in Philly's locker room. After reports of not wanting to play with Embiid, and turning his teammates away when they tried to visit him in California, he may not be entirely welcomed back with open arms, at least not at first.
In regards to Simmons being traded, no deal has materialized yet. Philly's asking price of three first-round draft picks and three pick swaps has been considered to tall an order for any team to meet, and the franchises that are interested, like the Indiana Pacers, don't have intriguing enough talent to convince the Sixers.
For now, the Sixers are just focusing on getting Simmons back with the team, and from the sounds of it, that may happen before the regular season starts.