After staying away for two weeks to start the NBA preseason, 76ers All-Star guard Ben Simmons reported to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Monday night – much to the surprise of an organization that had expected him later in the week, sources told ESPN.
As the Sixers neared the tip of a 115-104 preseason victory over the Brooklyn Nets, Simmons – fresh off a flight from Los Angeles – entered the arena to take a COVID-19 test and start the process of returning to a franchise from which he has requested a trade, sources said.
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There are expected to be conversations on how much of that money could be returned to Simmons should he reintegrate into the Sixers and return for the season, but it’s currently unclear whether Simmons’ intentions are to merely report to the team or truly rejoin it.
Simmons’ arrival concluded several weeks of discussions between the organization and Simmons’ agent, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, to get Simmons back to Philadelphia. After talking again Monday morning, the Sixers were under the impression that Simmons would likely return later in the week – only to have a team executive texted on Monday night and told that Simmons had arrived at the arena and that he needed to get into the building to formally report and begin satisfying his COVID-19 protocols, sources said.