Doc Rivers talks meeting with Ben Simmons, won’t rule him out for games

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The Philadelphia 76ers received a big surprise on Monday when 25-year old 3-time All-Star Ben Simmons randomly showed up to the Wells Fargo Center before their preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets.

This comes after he has threatened to hold out in order to force a trade and never want to play a game for the Sixers again. However, the team has been wanting him back with the team and they have been punishing him with hefty fines to entice him to come back.

It appears that it has worked as Simmons even showed up at the facility on Tuesday to talk with coach Doc Rivers and president Daryl Morey while also undergoing his physical to get him to move forward. He will begin his preparation for the season on Wednesday night individually as he is not yet cleared to work out with the team due to the NBA’s COVID protocols.

“We met yesterday several times,” said Rivers. “We did all the stuff, the physicals, testing, and everything he needed to do. He’ll come back in this evening and work out with the guys, well individual workouts until he clears protocol and we’ll go from there.”

At this point, it is unknown if Simmons is here to be back all-in with the Sixers or he is back to just collect his paychecks until he gets traded, but Rivers is assuming that he is returning to play in games for the Sixers again. He did add that he felt good walking away from the meeting with Simmons.

“I’m assuming he’s going to play, but who knows, right?” asked Rivers. “I don’t know. I can’t get in anyone’s head so those are questions that I can’t answer…I felt good.”

The Sixers have one final preseason game against the Detroit Pistons on the road on Friday and that will be the first day he is allowed to rejoin the team. So Rivers would not rule it out that he steps on the floor against Detroit despite being behind his teammates at the moment.

“We’re not ruling that out at all,” he explained. “Whether we play him or not, that’s going to depend on what we see this week. He’s coming from behind because he hasn’t been in camp, obviously, having said that, do you rush him and put him on the floor? That’s a whole ‘nother subject.”

It remains to be seen if Simmons will be out there on Friday, but the fact that he is back with the team is a good sign for what the Sixers want moving forward. It is clear they want him out there and this is the first step towards doing that.

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

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