It's been a strange offseason for Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers. As the 25-year-old guard entered the offseason after a disappointing showing in the second round of the playoffs, Simmons figured he wanted a fresh start somewhere else despite having several years left on his current contract.
Simmons and his camp requested a trade. While the Sixers fielded some calls and considered moving on, they never received a deal worth truly exploring. Therefore, they held onto Simmons with the assumption that he'd return to play for the 76ers.
So far, the Sixers have been wrong. Even though Doc Rivers, Elton Brand, Daryl Morey, and Josh Harris flew out to Los Angeles in August to convince Simmons to return to the Sixers, the star guard stayed true to his belief that his time in Philly has run its course. So, he became a training camp holdout candidate.
At this point, Simmons has missed a couple of weeks worth of practices and all four preseason games. While he is back in town and deemed eligible to re-join the team, it's unclear what his plan currently is. As Simmons decides whether to play with the 76ers again or sit back and continuing holding out, Sixers legend Allen Iverson sent out a message to the young star via Twitter this weekend.
"Follow Gods plan and execute, Lil bro," Iverson wrote via Twitter. As expected, Iverson's message to Simmons is a positive one.
It's unclear if Simmons will speak to the Sixers legend behind the scenes or not, but Iverson is a player who can kind of relate to Simmons as he's had his fair share of issues with the Sixers organization during his time in Philly before getting traded to the Denver Nuggets.
Perhaps, Iverson could help encourage Simmons to return to Philly and come back stronger. If not, the Sixers legend would more than likely continue supporting Simmons throughout the rest of his career as the Hall of Famer has proven to be a reliable supporter to current players no matter what.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.