Doc Rivers says 76ers want Ben Simmons to remain in Philadelphia: ‘We would love to get Ben back’

Ben Simmons might not need to play one other sport for the Philadelphia 76ers, however the feeling is not mutual. Throughout an look on ESPN’s First Take on Wednesday morning, Sixers coach Doc Rivers mentioned the continued Simmons scenario and made it clear that, whereas Simmons has certainly informed Sixers brass that he wants out, the workforce needs him again for the upcoming season. 

“I believe in sports activities, you’ve got been round it rather a lot, there’s been so many instances this has occurred that hasn’t been reported and the man comes again,” Rivers said. “So, pay attention, we will undergo it. We’ll all the time do what’s finest for the workforce. However I can inform you, up entrance, we’d like to get Ben again and if we are able to we will strive to try this. Ben has an extended contract so it is in our fingers and we wish him again…. We simply received to maintain speaking and see the place we are able to take this.. Proper now Ben continues to be a part of this workforce, and I’ll deal with that a part of it.” 

The rift between Simmons and the Sixers dates again to final season when Simmons was dangled in commerce talks for James Harden. A deal by no means got here to fruition, however the truth that the group was keen to maneuver him rubbed Simmons the flawed approach, even though he said all of the right things publicly at the time. Issues actually got here to a head following Simmons’ underwhelming efficiency towards the Atlanta Hawks within the Jap Convention semifinals. After the collection, Simmons was sad with feedback made by each Joel Embiid and Rivers. 

When requested if he thought Simmons could possibly be a championship-level level guard, Rivers replied “I do not know the reply to that.” Throughout his look on First Take, Rivers tried to sofa that remark by explaining that he was attempting to be dismissive of the query, and never of Simmons particularly. 

“I need to right that. I’d love you guys to play what I mentioned, as a result of [I] by no means mentioned what was reported,” Rivers mentioned. “The query was requested about Ben, it was the primary query after we simply misplaced Recreation 7. My reply was ‘I am not answering any of that stuff proper now guys. I do not even know tips on how to reply that.’ That had nothing to do about Ben. I used to be mainly saying ‘I am not answering that crap.’ 

“What disenchanted me, it was being portrayed that I used to be on the market saying that I do not assume we are able to win with Ben, and I do. I informed Ben that the following day. What actually disenchanted me was that I went on and mentioned ‘guys, I do know precisely what I used to be speaking about,’ and nobody heard it. They simply saved operating their narrative. I have been in sports activities a very long time, and I am not misrepresented fairly often, however in that case I used to be. However it’s what it’s. Ben is aware of, Wealthy [Paul] is aware of, and I do know.” 

Regardless of their perceived variations, the Sixers are nonetheless inquisitive about serving to Simmons develop as a participant, and the best way Rivers sees it, that begins on the free throw line — an space the place Simmons was an unmitigated catastrophe throughout the 2021 postseason. Simmons shot 25-for-73 from the road throughout the playoffs. That equates to 34 %, which is the worst mark in a single postseason in NBA historical past. So, following the season the Sixers employed a free throw coach to assist him enhance from the road. 

“It is concerning the free throws,” Rivers mentioned. “We completely have to enhance him there… We employed a free throw coach, a capturing coach. We need to get him within the gymnasium, we need to work him and get him higher. As a result of I consider that one factor frees him up.” 

It stays to be seen whether or not or not what quantities to a public plea from Doc Rivers might be sufficient to persuade Simmons to report back to coaching camp, however it was not less than price a strive for Philadelphia. Within the meantime, the workforce will proceed to be in no rush to commerce Simmons, who nonetheless has 4 full years remaining on his present contract with the workforce. 

Given his contract standing, Simmons has little leverage within the scenario, and thus solely has two actual choices. He may report back to the workforce and play till a commerce materializes, or he may keep away from the workforce and danger shedding enormous chunks of his wage by way of a suspension and subsequent fines from the franchise. In the end, the entire thing may come all the way down to how a lot cash Simmons is keen to forfeit by staying away from the workforce. If he is alright with lacking out on a sizeable chunk of money that he could be in any other case entitled to, then maybe his absence might be an prolonged one. If not, possibly he’ll return to the workforce and make the most effective out of the scenario till a commerce is inevitably made. | Doc Rivers says 76ers need Ben Simmons to stay in Philadelphia: ‘We might like to get Ben again’


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