The saga continues surrounding the trade rumors of 76ers star Ben Simmons.
Philadelphia players wanted to travel to Los Angeles to meet with Simmons in hopes of getting the All-Star to remain with the team. However, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Simmons chose not to meet with his teammates and they did not make the trip to the West Coast.
Among the players that were slated to make the trip to Los Angeles were Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris and Matisse Thybulle, per The Athletic. Simmons told them and other players not to come and he would not change his mind about wanting to be traded away from the team.
Earlier this week, 76ers coach Doc Rivers spoke publicly about the Simmons trade rumors and confirmed that the three-time All-Star requested a trade during an August meeting. However, Rivers told ESPN's First Take that he wants the guard back in Philadelphia.
"In sports...there's been so many times this has happened that hasn't been reported, and the guy comes back," Rivers said. "So, listen, we're going to go through it. We're going to always do what's best for the team, but I can tell you up front we would love to get Ben back. And if we can, we're going to try to do that. You know, Ben has a long contract. So it's in our hands and we want him back."
Rivers's comments came after a report on Tuesday from ESPN that Simmons had no intention of playing another game for the franchise or showing up to training camp. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey first reported news of Simmons's intention to miss camp back in August.
The 76ers will begin training camp on Sept. 28 with the team's Media Day on Sept. 27. Currently, Simmons has four years and $147 million remaining on his max contract.
Philadelphia began trade conversations with Simmons and spoke with other interested teams in July. Those conversations followed comments from Rivers and Embiid following Game 7 of the 76ers-Hawks series that only worsened the strained relationship between Simmons and his team.
During the series against the Hawks, Simmons averaged only 9.9 points per game and shot 33.3% from the field. He attempted just 14 shots in the final three games and had just three fourth-quarter field goal attempts in the entire series.
The 76ers, however, have reportedly not received a quality offer for a trade to remove Simmons from the franchise. Simmons, however, has "checked out" as a member of the team, per The Athletic.
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