When it seemed like Ben Simmons would be out of Philadelphia and there was no turning back, reports claim the Australian star would rejoin the Sixers with nearly a week for the start of the 2021-22 NBA regular season.
Simmons was the subject of multiple trade rumors over the last few months and his future seemed far from Philly. Following a frustrating exit from last season's playoffs, he didn't report to the training camp and preseason.
But the Sixers have struggled to find a satisfying trade, the season is looming around and Simmons is losing plenty of money. Shockingly, he may return to the team in the next few days and, despite the franchise would still work to get him a trade, coach Doc Rivers would be pleased to have him back.
Doc Rivers gets honest on Ben Simmons possibly returning to Philadelphia
While a trade may have been what Simmons has been looking for through all these months, that possibility seems to fade as the NBA season is just around the corner and the 76ers have failed to find a partner.
This never-ending saga now has taken another twist as Simmons would be back with the team despite not participating in a single practice this summer, but Doc Rivers would be happy anyway.
Per ESPN's Tim Bontemps, Rivers insisted he said from day one what they wanted - to have Ben Simmons back - and that position "hasn't changed at all." But more importantly, Rivers revealed he's been in contact with Simmons' agent, Rich Paul, having positive talks.
“I’m not gonna talk about what Rich and I have talked about,” he said, but Bontempts says they discussed about Simmons wanting to return. In addition, Rivers said that he's not worried about Simmons not being committed or players not welcoming him back.
"Doc Rivers says he hasn’t seen Ben Simmons yet, so he couldn’t say if Simmons would definitely be ready to go for the season opener next week, but that his guess is that he would be," he added.
Although this saga could have a shocking twist, it remains to be seen whether Simmons will truly reconciliate with Phillie and their fanbase. But a trade seems unlikely at this point and Rivers still counts on him.