The saga continues around commercial rumors of 76ers star Ben Simmons.
The Philadelphia players wanted to travel to Los Angeles to meet Simmons in hopes the All-Star stays with the team. However, according to Athleticism‘s Shams CharaniaSimmons chose not to meet with his teammates and they did not make the trip to the West Coast.
Among the players scheduled to make the trip to Los Angeles were Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris and Matisse Thybulle, for Athleticism. Simmons told them and the other players not to come and he wouldn’t change his mind about wanting to be traded out of the squad.
Earlier this week, 76ers coach Doc Rivers spoke publicly about the Simmons trade rumors and confirmed that the three-time All-Star requested a trade in an August reunion. However, Rivers told ESPN First take that he wants the guard to come back to Philadelphia.
“In sports … there have been so many times it hasn’t been reported, and the guy is coming back”, Rivers noted. “So listen, we’re going to go through this. We’re always going to do what’s best for the team, but I can tell you up front that we’d love to get Ben back. And if we can, we are. I’ll try. You know, Ben has a long contract, so it’s in our hands and we want him to come back.
Rivers’ comments came after a report released by ESPN on Tuesday that Simmons had no plans to play another game for the franchise or show up to training camp. The Philadelphia Investigatorby Keith Pompey first signaled Simmons’ intention to miss camp in August.
The 76ers will begin training camp on September 28 with Team Media Day on September 27. Currently, Simmons is four years old and $ 147 million on his max contract.
Philadelphia began business conversations with Simmons and spoke to other interested teams in July. These conversations followed comments from Rivers and Embiid in the wake of Game 7 of the 76ers-Hawks series, which only deepened the strained relationship between Simmons and his team.
During the series against the Hawks, Simmons averaged just 9.9 points per game and shot 33.3 percent from the field. He’s only attempted 14 shots in the last three games and only managed three fourth quarter field goal attempts in the entire series.
The 76ers, however, apparently did not receive a quality offer for a trade to remove Simmons from the franchise. Simmons, however, “checked” as a member of the team, per Athleticism.
More NBA coverage: