Daryl Morey, the president of basketball operations for the 76ers, called Ben Simmons "a difference making player," on Philly sports radio 97.5 The Fanatic, adding that he's willing to wait on a deal despite the recent drama.
"Right now if we traded Ben Simmons like he wants, all we would get back is role players, and that would make no sense," Morey said, per a tweet from the station. "I would be prepared to strap in because it will take awhile."
The comments come after coach Doc Rivers threw Simmons out of practice earlier this week, leading to the eventual suspension for the team's season opener, according to Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported news of Rivers removing Simmons from practice. According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Rivers asked Simmons to join a defensive drill today multiple times but Simmons refused and Rivers told him to "go home."
Sixers star center Joel Embiid later offered points of criticism for his teammate on Tuesday.
"We don't get paid to come out here and try to babysit somebody," Embiid said. "That's not our job."
Simmons then showed up to, and departed, the team's practice facility Thursday without taking part in a previously scheduled individual workout, according to Wojnarowski. He reportedly described back tightness to Philadelphia staff members and received treatment. But, he was then cleared to workout following treatment.
Both Rivers and Morey confirmed to reporters that Simmons requested a trade from the team this offseason. He practiced for the first time on Sunday after missing the first two weeks of training camp.
Per The Athletic, Simmons routinely ignored 76ers staff since rejoining the team and engaged more with the G League coaches than his own.