Many believed it would never happen, but Ben Simmons has finally rejoined the Philadelphia 76ers as a full participant at practice. Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported the news that Simmons had returned to practice, and also shared some reactions from his teammates.
Veteran forward Tobias Harris told the media that the vibe around the team was perfectly fine amidst Simmons returning, and others shared that same sentiment. When asked how he felt about having Simmons back, Furkan Korkmaz added that "It was good to have him back. Personally, I missed him. To be on the same floor with him again, personally I'm happy to see him back here on the court and I hope we have more work to do."
It is currently unclear if and when Simmons will actually suit up and play for the 76ers, but this recent development is a major stride towards that happening. Neither Ben Simmons nor Joel Embiid addressed the media at Sunday morning's practice, but comments from those two are expected to come in the following days.
The Philadelphia 76ers will open their season against the New Orleans Pelicans on October 20th, with their home opener scheduled for October 22nd against the Brooklyn Nets. When asked if he has given any thought to Simmons playing his first game at home or on the road, head coach Doc Rivers said, "No, right now I'm just trying to get him back comfortable and integrated. I'm not even thinking about that. That'll come at some point, but there's no game plan there, I can tell you that. When he's ready, he'll play."
The 76ers are still expected to seek trade partners in a Simmons deal, but his recent arrival makes the situation easier to navigate for everyone involved.