PHILADELPHIA – As discussions between Ben Simmons’ side and the Philadelphia 76ers have gained momentum in recent days, 76ers coach Doc Rivers said Monday night that from “Day one” Philadelphia has wanted Simmons to come back and play for the team, and that his teammates will welcome him back if he does return. While talks between Philadelphia and Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, Simmons’ agent, have been ongoing throughout the process, sources told Wojnarowski that Simmons could soon reach out to team management – something that hasn’t happened since the meeting between the two sides in Los Angeles in August.
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Including Monday’s game against Brooklyn, Simmons has lost more than $1 million in salary for failing to report to the team.
“Guys want to win. They do. I’m telling you. Especially if you’re on that type of team where you have a chance to win. They want to win, and they look at Ben as a guy who can help them win.”
But if Simmons shows up this week, will he be ready to help the Sixers win when the season starts next week? While Rivers said he couldn’t say for sure, his assumption was that Simmons would be ready to go for next Wednesday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans and then next Friday’s home opener against the Nets.
“I don’t know [since] I haven’t seen him,” Rivers said.