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Report: Ben Simmons return timeline fits that of unvaccinated player

NBC Sports


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Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star guard Ben Simmons passed his physical and held a meeting with the team’s front office on Tuesday, but he remains ineligible to participate in team-related activities until Friday, at the earliest, due to NBA health and safety protocols, sources told ESPN

A player who is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and who is entering the team environment for the first time needs to return at least one negative result from a polymerase chain reaction test facilitated by the team before interacting with other players and Tier 1 staffers, according to NBA protocols obtained by ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

Players get traded when they’re more valuable to another team than their current team. If Simmons would get vaccinated if traded – i.e., less likely to contract coronavirus and spread coronavirus to teammates and other team employees – that’s one way he’d be more valuable to another team than to Philadelphia. Asked what percentage of players are vaccinated a couple weeks ago, Rivers said the team is “Very, very, very good.” If Simmons is the lone holdup, his teammates might push for management to trade him – another wrinkle in the already-tenuous interpersonal dynamics.

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