The Philadelphia 76ers may be able to convince Ben Simmons to report to training camp, but that does not mean the star point guard intends to play another game for the franchise.
The Sixers have reportedly had productive conversations with Simmons’ agent, Rich Paul, about the former first overall pick ending his holdout and returning to the team. That raises the question of whether Simmons is willing to play for Philadelphia this upcoming season. According to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, he is not.
One NBA source told Pompey that Simmons has not altered his stance on wanting a trade.
“You are never getting the same player back in Philly,” the source said. “You definitely are not getting him back in uniform. Even if he was in uniform, you are not getting back the same player.”
Simmons will be easier to trade if the 76ers can somehow convince rival teams that the relationship between them and the 25-year-old has improved. Given everything we have heard over the past several months, that will be no easy task.
We know of at least one team that has interest in Simmons, but Philly’s asking price remains too high. The Sixers are said to be seeking multiple first-round picks and an All-Star caliber player in any potential deal involving Simmons.
A report over the weekend claimed Simmons has one team on his wish list that may surprise some people. Unless something changes, a trade before the season still seems likely.