Daryl Morey expresses hope that Sixers can make it work with Ben Simmons

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The Philadelphia 76ers convened in Camden, NJ on Monday for media day on the eve of training camp and they were clearly missing a huge piece in the form of Ben Simmons. The embattled star did not report for media day and he will likely not report for training camp as he awaits a trade to be made.

The Sixers and Simmons are currently in a bit of a standoff to see who blinks first in this situation and it’s looking as if this will go on for quite some time as the season continues to approach. Philadelphia wants to get fair value for one of the game’s brightest stars while Simmons just wants desperately to leave the franchise.

On the flip side, the Sixers would also love to have him return. President Daryl Morey even compared the Simmons situation to the situation surrounding Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the NFL. Rodgers was in a similar predicament that he wanted out of Green Bay and that he would never play for them again, but he is suiting up for the Packers in 2021.

“I think there’s a lot of hope,” said Morey. “I would say, I watched last night (Sunday) a player lead their team to victory where 1000 pounds of digital ink were spilled on how much he would never play for that team again. Look, every situation is different, but we have a lot of optimism that we can make it work here.”

Coach Doc Rivers, who was a staunch defender of Simmons all season, then gushed over everything that the 3-time All-Star can do. Rivers has been under fire a bit recently after seemingly backtracking on his comments after the Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks and he doubled down on it on Monday.

“I still think the world of him,” said Rivers. “I think the word of him as a player. Just because he doesn’t do certain things that you want him to do, doesn’t mean he’s a bad player. He made the All-Star team. He almost won the Defensive Player of the Year award. So to me, sometimes I wish, instead of just going with what you want, listen to my intent. That’s all I’m saying and I said that the next day. That’s why, if you remember, the next day we did the press conference, whoever was at that press conference. Did I say it again I reiterated it, I said guys, there’s something out there that I didn’t mean, so it’s not like me being a revisionist history.”

Over the summer, it seemed as if the Sixers were the ones who were willing to ship the embattled star out of Philadelphia, but Morey revealed that instead, it was Simmons’ camp that wanted a trade. Shortly after the season, the two sides met in Chicago and a trade request was made then.

“Let me give some background,” Morey added. “They came to us and asked for a trade. Shortly after the season, his representatives in Chicago. We were not looking to trade him to coach’s point, multi-time time All-Star, Defensive Player of the Year, we were on the doorstep, like many teams.”

With that being said, the question now becomes why does Simmons want out so badly? Where did this thing go south so badly that he wants to just get out of Philadelphia and move on? Is it the fans? Is it the coaching staff? What is it?

“It’s a tough answer because it wasn’t as clear as we probably would want it…wanting to change places for whatever reason,” said Rivers. “It’s tough to play here, but Ben didn’t say that. You got to assume that’s probably part of it and I can’t say he said that. That’s just an assumption.”

Whatever the reason it may be, this situation is going to hang over the Sixers like a dark cloud until he either reports to the team or he does finally get traded. It is going to be an interesting next couple of weeks surrounding Simmons and the Sixers.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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