Kyrie Irving cleared to practice at Nets facility
Welcome to the latest edition of the NBA's hit soap opera, "As the Sixers Turn."
Ben Simmons once again finds himself at the center of controversy after ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the 76ers star showed up to the team's practice facility on Thursday but didn't go through his scheduled individual workout. He is reportedly dealing with a back issue, though there are questions about the nature of his injury.
Simmons was suspended for Philadelphia's regular-season opener, and now there is doubt as to whether Simmons will play Friday night against Brooklyn. Here are the latest updates on Simmons ahead of the 76ers vs. Nets game.
Ben Simmons wants to be treated like the superstar he's not, and for too long the Sixers gave him his way
Simmons is reportedly moving toward returning to Sixers camp, but he can't erase the way he's handled this holdout On Oct. 1, the Sixers put $8.25 million of the $33M Simmons is due to make for the 2021-22 season into an escrow account, and from that account they are deducting, per ESPN, roughly $360,000 for every game, preseason or regular season, that Simmons misses.
MORE: Best potential destinations, trade offers for Simmons
Will Ben Simmons play vs. Nets?
During an appearance on "NBA Today," Wojnarowski reported that Simmons arrived at and then left the Sixers' practice facility on Thursday without going through a planned workout. He told members of the team's staff that he was feeling tightness in his back, and after he was treated, he was cleared to participate in the workout. (Philadelphia did not hold a team practice.)
Wojnarowski later reported that Simmons is expected to attend the 76ers' shootaround on Friday morning and discuss his status with the team, though it is unlikely he will play against the Nets. The Athletic's Shams Charania was more definitive in his reporting, tweeting that Simmons will miss Friday's game and is "currently not mentally ready to play for the team."
Bucks celebrate 2021 NBA championship, then handle Nets to open title defense
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks picked up their 2021 NBA championship rings, then showed they are more than equipped to win the next one. 1/18 SLIDES © Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel The Milwaukee Bucks' 2021 championship banner is unveiled during Milwaukee Bucks ring ceremony before the season opener vs. the Brooklyn Nets at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021.
Questions surrounding Ben Simmons' back injury
Simmons' back tightness had not been mentioned or treated by the team over the previous week and a half, according to Philly Voice's Kyle Neubeck, who also reported that Simmons returned a clean physical as part of the return-to-play protocol. The back issue was discussed for the first time on Thursday.
It's unclear if the 76ers plan to fine or suspend Simmons if he continues to miss practices and games.
Will the 76ers trade Ben Simmons?
As much as Simmons would like to find his way out of Philly, it's unlikely that he will be moved anytime soon.
Ben Simmons' suspension, explained: What 76ers star did at practice and what could happen next
The 76ers want Ben Simmons to play for them. He doesn't seem all that interested in suiting up. So, what comes next in this strange saga? What did Ben Simmons do at the 76ers' practice? Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers kicked Simmons out of Tuesday's practice because of a "refusal to participate in the next stage of the session," according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, who noted that Simmons has not been consistently engaged since his return to the team. The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that Rivers asked Simmons to join a defensive drill multiple times, but Simmons refused to participate.
During an interview with 97.6 The Fanatic in Philadelphia on Thursday, Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey declared that the team will only trade Simmons in exchange for a true difference-maker.
"Right now, any sort of trade, which obviously Ben Simmons wants, the best thing we can do is get role players back. That makes no sense," Morey said. "That will give us no better chance to win the title if we were to move Ben Simmons for role players. So, people should buckle in. This is gonna go a long time because our only task, my only job is to help us have the best chance to win the title.
"Ben Simmons is a difference-maker, so we can get him back. He will help us win the title. If we can trade Ben Simmons for a difference-maker, we will do it. I think that's best for everyone in this situation."
76ers vs. Nets injury report
(The 76ers have not yet submitted their official injury report as of 4:30 p.m. ET on Thursday.)
|Team ||Player ||Status ||Reason |
|76ers ||— ||— ||— |
|Nets ||Kyrie Irving ||Out ||Not with team |
Warriors not giving up young talent for Ben Simmons .
Anthony Slater: There are people within the building that would be intr igued by the idea. There’s definitely a contingent that asks how will that fit with Draymond? Simmons could fit in the Warriors’ read-and-react style, but he’d make the most sense in the Draymond role as the pick-and-roll guy with Curry. What matters most is that the guy up top, Joe Lacob, has literally been fined for giving his opinion about not believing in Simmons’ fit with the Warriors.