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Report: Simmons Tells 76ers He's Not Mentally Ready to Play Yet

Ben Simmons spoke with coach Doc Rivers, teammate Joel Embiid and the rest of the 76ers on Friday, saying he's not mentally ready to play, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania

The three-time All-Star reportedly expressed that he wants to play, but isn't there yet. Charania reported that Simmons was at shootaround on Friday ahead of the Nets game, and "was seen engaged around the team." 

Forward Tobias Harris quote tweeted Charania's report, saying, "And we’ll respect his privacy and space during this time. When he’s ready, we will embrace our brother with love and handle our business on the court. That's it, that's all."

The news comes less than a day after team president Daryl Morey made it clear that he isn't rushing into a Simmons trade, calling him "a difference making player."

"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 on 97.5 The Fanatic. "I would be prepared to strap in because it will take awhile."

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Earlier this week, Rivers threw Simmons out of practice, 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 Charania, Rivers asked Simmons to join a defensive drill today multiple times, but Simmons refused and Rivers told him to "go home."

Simmons then showed up to, and departed from, Philadelphia's practice facility Thursday without taking part in a previously scheduled individual workout, according to Wojnarowski. He reportedly described back tightness to team staff members and received treatment. But he was later cleared to work out. 

Both Rivers and Morey have confirmed to reporters that Simmons requested a trade from the team this offseason. Simmons is reportedly no longer interested in playing with Embiid, amid his frustration with the team's decision to build around Embiid and his playing style.

On Tuesday, after Simmons was kicked out of practice, Sixers star center Embiid offered a pointed comment about his teammate.

"We don't get paid to come out here and try to babysit somebody," Embiid said. "That's not our job."

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