Ever since the Sixers dropped Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks during last year's postseason, Ben Simmons has been on a mission to force himself out of Philadelphia. When 76ers officials were in Chicago for the 2021 NBA Draft combine, Simmons' agent Rich Paul made a trade request for his client.
So far, the 76ers haven't honored Simmons' request. Although they fielded offers from a handful of teams, Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey has yet to receive an offer with a return that truly interests him.
Therefore, the Sixers would like to have Simmons return to market for the 2021-2022 regular season. However, Simmons has stayed true to his holdout so far. With media day, training camp, and now three preseason games in the rearview, Simmons has yet to show face in Philadelphia.
But that could change soon. As Simmons continues to receive fines for his absence during the preseason, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that the Sixers have been in contact with Rich Paul, and the two parties are working on a potential resolution, which ends with Simmons returning to the Sixers.
Before Monday night's preseason matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers addressed the media. What was supposed to be a general pregame press conference turned into a ten-minute Q&A session mostly discussing the disgruntled superstar.
Although Simmons' absence has been disappointing for several members of the Sixers organization, Rivers reiterated the team would like to have him back in the mix for the regular season as they prioritize winning over anything else.
"Listen, we said from day one what we wanted," Rivers stated. "We would welcome him back. Other than that, honestly, there is nothing new to report. You know, our position hasn't changed at all."
Rivers admitted on Monday that he hasn't had the opportunity to speak directly with Simmons since their last face-to-face meeting back in August. While there is a belief that could change soon, the Sixers head coach hasn't changed his stance on the situation regardless. He wants Ben Simmons back in the mix and would welcome the three-time All-Star with open arms if he wanted to return.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.