There are still some things that need to be cleared, but Ben Simmons eventually wearing a 76ers uniform again appears to be more likely than it was a week ago.
Simmons arrived in Philadelphia and took a COVID-19 test, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday night.
The Sixers are hopeful to start moving toward the next steps of a return with Simmons, per Wojnarowski. The organization wants him back on the court once he clears protocols, but that remains to be seen.
Earlier Monday, Wojnarowski reported that Sixers officials and Klutch CEO Rich Paul had progressed in talks over recent days on a resolution to bring All-Star Ben Simmons back to Philadelphia in the near future.
Head coach Doc Rivers said before the Sixers’ preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets that the team’s position on Simmons “hasn’t changed at all,” indicating the Sixers would still like him to return. He noted the Sixers have had “very good” conversations with Simmons’ agent Rich Paul, but declined to provide details on those talks.
The Sixers withheld approximately $8.25 million of Simmons’ salary that was due on October 1, and he’s been fined for missing the team’s first three preseason games.
The 25-year-old requested a trade after last season, president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said on media day, and did not report to training camp. Whether his camp’s stance shifts to the extent that Simmons suits up in Philadelphia again remains to be seen.
But this is a huge step in twisting drama that is this Simmons and Sixers situation, which is all still up in the air.