The Philadelphia 76ers have been preparing for the 2021-22 season just as they normally would in any regular year as they get ready to chase the Larry O’Brien trophy once again. They have a superstar big man in Joel Embiid and they are looking to take advantage of his talent.
There has been one wrench thrown into this plan and that has been the absence of All-Star Ben Simmons. The 25-year old has not been with the team as he continues to try and force a trade out of Philadelphia, but that holdout ended on Monday as he returned to the team.
Simmons took his physical and he has not yet shown up to practice, but he can return to the team by Friday and that is something that excites the Sixers such as Tyrese Maxey.
“That’s great,” Maxey beamed. “Of course, we’re a better team with Ben. I’m glad to have him back. We’re going to keep talking to him and keep trying to keep him a part of this team.”
Simmons will most likely still want to be traded. It seems as if he is just here due to the fact that he was losing a lot of money and he did not want to lose anymore, but the fact remains that he is here with the team and it is something that Philadelphia can add to their offense whenever he does show up.
“He’s a part of the team,” said new addition Georges Niang. “I haven’t seen him. I show up to practice every day and participate with the guys that are here and I’ll be ready to continue to play the way I play when he is playing alongside us.”
The Sixers do have a preseason game on Friday against the Detroit Pistons that will wrap up the exhibition schedule, but there is no guarantee that Simmons will be with the team at that time.
“No, not yet,” said coach Doc Rivers. “We’ll find that out. You’ll know.”
Simmons has been going through individual workouts as he continues to comply with the NBA’s COVID protocols before he can be cleared on Friday. The Sixers are not looking for much, they just want him to get some work in.
“I’m not really looking for anything,” Rivers added. “Just him coming in and working and that’s it. It’s too early. It’s only been one day.”
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