Sport: Will Ben Simmons play vs. Nets? 76ers star's reported back injury only adds to drama in Philadelphia

Ben Simmons reportedly told 76ers he's dealing with back tightness amid standoff

  Ben Simmons reportedly told 76ers he's dealing with back tightness amid standoff Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons is reportedly dealing with back tightness after getting kicked out of practice Tuesday. Simmons reportedly told the 76ers he was dealing with the injury Thursday, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The situation escalated Tuesday, when Simmons was kicked out of practice for reportedly refusing to take part in a drill. The 76ers were not scheduled to practice Thursday, but Simmons was expected to take part in an individual workout. He did not, instead telling the team he was injured. The 76ers staff checked Simmons out and reportedly told him he was good to participate in workouts after he received treatment.

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.

Warriors not giving up young talent for Ben Simmons

  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.

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."

Ben Simmons wants to be treated like the superstar he's not, and for too long the Sixers gave him his way

  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.

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 is back at 76ers practice and getting shots up

  Ben Simmons is back at 76ers practice and getting shots up After missing the first two weeks of the NBA 2021-22 season, it seems that Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons is back at team practice. Ben Simmons has been capturing headlines since the NBA season began, but he's nowhere to be found on the court. The 76ers are 3-2, and Simmons ha s been sidelined for the first two weeks of the season. First, a suspension for "conduct detrimental to the team" at practice sidelined him, then a back injury has had him off his feet for the past week.  Knicks fans added their own commentary to the issue when they chanted "where's Ben Simmons?" during a 112-99 victory over the Philadelphia team.

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

Ben Simmons practices with cellphone in pocket, skips 76ers huddle .
Ben Simmons is back at Philadelphia 76ers practice. Multiple videos surfaced from Monday's team practice, Simmons' second with the 76ers since he ended his holdout last week. Video from NBC Sports Philadelphia showed Simmons participating in drills with his teammates. He did so while wearing warmup pants and what appears to be a cellphone in his pocket. Maybe he forgot his Fitbit and just wanted to keep track of his steps. A video from the end of practice is even more telling. WPVI shared video of a post-session team huddle. Players, coaches and staff joined hands in the middle to break practice. That is, except for Simmons.

See also