At some point last month, key members of the Sixers' organization met with the three-time All-Star Ben Simmons in Los Angeles, where the NBA veteran has been residing since the 2020-2021 season concluded earlier this summer.
According to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly's President of Basketball Operations, Daryl Morey, General Manager Elton Brand, Head Coach Doc Rivers, and Managing Partner Josh Harris were among those that attended.
What was the point of the meeting exactly? Per Tim Bontemps and Bobby Marks of ESPN, the 76ers were prepared to tell Simmons that they haven't received a deal worth making for him this offseason -- and they hoped to right any wrongs, so the situation isn't awkward when training camp rolls around in late September.
But the meeting didn't go the way the 76ers hoped.
"After the transaction season ended in mid-August, owner Joshua Harris and 76ers management flew to Los Angeles to meet with Simmons and agent Rich Paul. The Sixers intended to tell Simmons they couldn't find a deal for him and hoped to put aside differences and enter the season on the same page, sources said."
As previously reported, Simmons told the Sixers he doesn't plan to show up for training camp this offseason if he is still a member of the team. Per Bontemps and Marks, Simmons was "steadfast," telling Josh Harris he "didn't want to play for the team again."
A lot can change over the next few weeks, but it seems quite doubtful at this point Simmons will be a training camp attendee. While the Sixers can and most likely will issue fines to Simmons for being absent on mandatory dates, the All-Star guard is reportedly prepared to face the consequences of missing practice.
Will Simmons force Daryl Morey's hand to make a trade that would net the Sixers less than what they are asking for? Or will the veteran guard swallow his pride and suit up for the Sixers to start the year? Only time will tell, but it seems things can and will surely get ugly as the 2021-2022 season quickly approaches.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.