The Philadelphia 76ers have yet to find the finish line in the Ben Simmons saga. Over the summer, the team was notified of Simmons’ interest to be traded following Philadelphia’s disappointing playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks in round two.
At first, the Sixers were open to moving the three-time All-Star. After scanning the market and fielding calls, though, the 76ers understood that there wasn’t a deal available to them that made them much better as they look to contend for a championship.
Eventually, the Sixers looked to convince Simmons to attend training camp in the fall, but the star guard stood firm on his stance. As expected, Simmons held out from training camp and didn’t play in the preseason. While he eventually showed up to practice with the Sixers ahead of the 2021-2022 regular season, it was clear he came to work with other motives.
Although the situation got ugly for a moment, Simmons opened up to his teammates and coaches. Once he made it clear he wasn’t mentally ready to return to the court, the Sixers shut him down until further notice.
At this point, nothing has changed. Simmons has yet to play for the Sixers, and he still wants to be moved as early as this year. Meanwhile, the Sixers haven’t found a trade they believe is worth making. Therefore, they’d prefer Simmons returns to the floor.
What’s the Latest?
On Wednesday afternoon, Simmons’ agent Rich Paul met with Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey and General Manager Elton Brand to discuss the “status of the stalemate,” according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Per Woj’s report, the status of the situation remains unchanged. Although the Sixers are open to trading Simmons, they want him back on the floor when he’s ready. Unfortunately, the 25-year-old guard doesn’t seem to be on pace to return anytime soon.
Not only did Wojnarowski’s latest update indicate that Simmons is still in the same headspace, but Sixers head coach Doc Rivers mentioned that he was unsure about a possible Simmons return as well before Philly’s Wednesday night matchup against the Charlotte Hornets.
“I don’t know,” Rivers said. “I don’t think so, but I don’t even know the answer [whether he’s close to returning or not]. He does come to the facility, but I don’t know what that means right now. Hopefully, we’ll have an answer sooner than later.”
While trade rumors have been heating up lately, the Simmons saga doesn’t seem to be close to getting resolved anytime soon.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.