Philadelphia 76ers move up talks with Ben Simmons upon return, sources say
Discussions have gained momentum over All-Star Ben Simmons’ return to the Philadelphia 76ers, possibly as early as this week, sources told ESPN on Monday.
Philadelphia management and coach Doc Rivers moved forward in discussions over the weekend with Simmons’ agent, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, on a resolution for Simmons to report to the team, sources said.
Simmons may soon speak directly with team officials, which he hasn’t done directly since a meeting in late August in Los Angeles where he reiterated his desire to be traded, sources told ESPN.
He has become more open to the possibility of ending his absence from the team and running for Philadelphia, sources said.
The Sixers have sought out the league throughout the offseason for trade, but have failed to strike a deal that would bring them back the kind of comparable star they would want to continue building a championship contender around center All. -NBA Joel Embiid, sources said.
Those trade talks would likely continue with Simmons’ return, but Sixers president Daryl Morey and Rivers hope to continue working to convince Simmons to stay with the franchise long-term, sources have said.
Simmons will have lost $ 1 million in salary once he misses Monday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.
He has four years and $ 147 million left on his maximum contract, including $ 33 million for 2021-2022.
Simmons demanded a trade in the aftermath of Philadelphia’s Game 7 loss at home to the Atlanta Hawks – in which Simmons sadly emerged from a wide open dunk with less than four minutes to go that would have tied the game. The Sixers have never matched the game again.
After that game, Rivers and Embiid both gave answers that caught the media’s attention – Rivers for saying “I don’t know”, when asked if Simmons could be a championship playmaker, and Embiid for saying the scent dunk was the turning point of the game.
Rivers said his post-match comments were taken out of context, while Embiid said he didn’t regret what he said because, in his mind, he was simply explaining what had happened. . Embiid, however, said he regrets the deterioration of the situation between Simmons and the team at this point.
Morey said the Sixers weren’t interested in making a trade right after the season, and reiterated that the only moves the team will make – including a potential trade with Simmons – will only be made if they help Philadelphia. to pursue a championship.