After boycoycotting the first two weeks of the NBA preseason while he maintained his trade request and vowed to never suit up for the 76ers again, Simmons reported to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Monday night.
Reportedly the organization was surprised to see him so soon and expected him to arrive a week later, sources told ESPN.
How Ben Simmons walking into the Sixers facility pic.twitter.com/c6fC8cUxR9
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) October 11, 2021
Simmons got out of his feelings and into his bag with the help of his agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. The Philadelphia 76ers are willing to excuse his tantrums.
However, the fact that he spent more time acting mad at the city for calling him out on his bs than working on his shooting and offensive game already lets us know that this doesn’t end well.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 12, 2021
We have the perfect trade scenario. The Brooklyn Nets should trade an unvaccinated Kyrie Irving to Philly for an unhappy Ben Simmons.
It’s the perfect fit. Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 mandates are not as strict as New York State’s. Kyrie would be able to participate because he’s a visiting player. Simmons would get to play with two all-time scorers and not have to carry the same offensive load.
Or even take shots. He can do those things that made him an All-Star in the first place.
Report: Ben Simmons surprises team, reports to 76ers last night
"The Sixers do not want to trade Ben Simmons. They realize they'll be better with him than without him. There's no way they can trade and get back equal value unless you can go Kyrie for Ben." — @RealSkipBayless pic.twitter.com/LhVLfiQWQp
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) October 12, 2021
Such a trade is unlikley to happen, but it would solve some potential problems for both teams. For now, Simmons is still a member of the 76ers and he’s still full of surprises.
The Sixers won an exhibition game against the Kyrie Irving-less Nets (115-104) and then got another gift (or curse) when Simmons, fresh off a plane flight from LA, dipped into the arena to take a COVID-19 test.
Next comes the process of rebuilding relationships with his teammates and the franchise that he swore off less than a month ago.
Simmons’ arrival is a dramatic turn of events and kind of perplexing considering Simmons sat out training camp, cost himself about $1M in fines and salary and said some things that most people can’t take back.
There’s different degrees of drama in every breakup. Sometimes there’s a reconciliation. Maybe this is the case in Philadelphia.
Source says Ben Simmons met with Doc Rivers and Daryl Morey today
I’m told Ben is going through the process to rejoin the Sixers, including taking a physical pic.twitter.com/Zcq1l2WJuj
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) October 12, 2021
Despite Simmons’ tantrum and trade request, Simmons doesn’t want to lose any more of that $31.6 million check.
He may not want to play in Philly after the pain and subsequent media lashing he took following last season’s playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks, but he has a high profile, jet-setting lifestyle that he needs to keep going at the end of the day.
Very pricey women who expect him to provide the yacht, the island and the diamonds.
Joining the team this late and under this kind of stress and negative media publicity will be difficult for head coach Doc Rivers to navigate.
The trade market will open up again when more players become eligible to be moved in December. Until then, both sides have to make the best of the situation.