The Philadelphia 76ers are in the process of preparing for the 2021-22 season and they have been doing so without the services of Ben Simmons. The 25-year old 3-time All-Star has been holding out from the team as he continues to force his trade from the team, but it now appears that he will return to the team.
During the team’s preseason win over the Brooklyn Nets, the embattled star touched down back in Philadelphia as it appears that his holdout will, as a matter of fact, end this week. The Sixers do not play again until Friday against the Detroit Pistons on the road so there is a good chance that he will return to practice before then.
“That is good for the organization,” said star teammate Joel Embiid after the win. “That’s something that everybody wanted. I’ve always said that I believe that he gives us the best chance to win. We are a better team, with him than without, that’s for sure. I’m happy that things have resolved and we can move on and try to try to be a better team.”
It is clear that the Sixers will need Simmons to buy in a bit to the team and really focus on what the team is building here. He could come in and not give the type of effort needed and mope around, but Embiid acknowledges that he gives the team their best shot at winning and he will welcome him back despite the lack of communication between the two.
“Personally, I haven’t talked to him since the season ended,” the big fella stated. “Obviously, I tried, but it wasn’t successful as a lot of my teammates have. Like I said, it’s unfortunate the whole situation happened, but like I say we are a better team with him on the floor. I think there’s gonna be some adjustments, but it doesn’t need to be awkward. I mean, we are professionals. We want to win. I want to win. So he gives us the best chance to win so that’s what I’m gonna go with.”
Coach Doc Rivers and the front office have maintained that they want him back and he kept the same message going on Monday after the win. The Sixers want him back out on the floor to help the team win and move forward.
“Yeah, it sounds like it,” said Rivers. “I think he did his COVID test today from reports from Woj. I’m gonna call Woj and find out what’s going on, but yeah. It seems like it which is good.”
“It’s good to have Ben back,” said young guard Isaiah Joe. “He’s still a part of this team as Jo was saying, he’s a big asset. We’re better with him on this team so now it’s just about welcoming him back on the team and keep it going from there.”
There is a school of thought that maybe the Sixers will need to have a team meeting of some sort in order to get something done and move forward, but Joe just wants to welcome home back and forget about it all.
“I don’t have any bad blood with anybody,” he stated. “Ben is still a great guy. He’s a friend of mine so whenever we do see him, I’m gonna greet him just like anybody else would and hopefully we can get him back on the floor because like I said, we are a better team with him on there.”