The Philadelphia 76ers are looking to rebuild, and the team’s general manager, Daryl Morey, would like his former star player back. Ben Simmons signed with the Milwaukee Bucks this summer after requesting a trade from the Sixers.
Daryl Morey, the General Manager of the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers, has stated that he hopes Ben Simmons returns to Philadelphia. He cites the Aaron Rodgers-Green Bay Packers reconciliation as a reason for his hope.
ESPN’s Tim Bontemps
CAMDEN, N.J. (WABC) — Daryl Morey, the president of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers, says he has “hope” for a reunion between star Ben Simmons and the Sixers, citing the Aaron Rodgers scenario in Green Bay as evidence that a team’s dissatisfied star can be reconciled.
“I believe there’s a lot of optimism,” Morey said at his season-opening press conference with coach Doc Rivers on Monday morning. “I’d say I saw a guy lead his team to win last night after a thousand pounds of digital ink was poured on how he’d never play for that team again.”
“Look, every scenario is different, but we’re certain that we’ll be able to make it work here.”
Rodgers, like Simmons, wants out while still under contract with his current club. Rodgers, on the other hand, reported to training camp and is currently playing regular-season games for the Packers, unlike Simmons.
As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski predicted last week, Simmons did not report to training camp on Monday. When asked whether Simmons would face a fine if he didn’t show up, Morey said he wouldn’t go into details but that it’s a fair assumption of the route Philadelphia would follow.
“I’d say we’re not going to speak about penalties or things like that,” Morey said, “but I would say what occurs is fairly clearly written out in the CBA and in his contract.”
Morey said the last time he talked to Simmons directly was during a meeting in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, but that he has since spoken through his agent, Rich Paul. He claimed Simmons requested a trade immediately after the season, but Philadelphia was not interested at the time, and that the only moves the club would make — including a possible Simmons trade — will be made if they assist the team win a championship.
“Ben is a great player and an important component of our squad,” Morey added. “We’re upset that he isn’t here. We’re still deciding, but we’re thrilled about the guys that have shown up. We’ll concentrate on them, and we’ll continue on our path to become a championship squad. We don’t yet know what it will entail.
“I just have one objective in terms of trades or non-trades, and that is to do what gives us the greatest opportunity to win a championship.”
Simmons requested a trade following the 76ers’ Game 7 defeat at home to the Atlanta Hawks, in which Simmons memorably passed up a wide-open dunk with less than four minutes left that would have knotted the game. The Sixers were never able to tie the game again.
Both Rivers and Joel Embiid provided media-friendly responses after the game, with Rivers stating “I don’t know” when asked whether Simmons could be a championship point guard and Embiid claiming the whiffed dunk was the game’s turning moment.
Rivers reiterated his assertion from last week’s interviews that his post-game remarks were taken out of context.
Rivers remarked, “I still think the world of him.” “As a player, I still think the world of him.”
“It doesn’t imply he’s a poor player just because he doesn’t do what you want. He was named to the All-Star squad and came close to winning Defensive Player of the Year.”
Embiid, on the other hand, claimed he had no remorse about what he said since he was just stating the facts. He went on to claim that Matisse Thybulle had the most reason for being upset at him since he missed a free throw after Simmons passed to him instead of dunking the ball.
“Did I really say something?” When asked whether he had any regrets about what he said, Embiid said, “No.” “I’m not sure I said anything.” I was asked what I thought the game’s turning moment was, and I really think that was it. If anybody should be irritated, it’s me for freaking Matisse for missing a freaking free throw. But we all speak about it, we all make jokes about it, and we all know we need to improve.
“So there aren’t any regrets on my part. Nobody was singled out by me. I just presented the facts. I’m straightforward. I’m not going to lie. That’s simply my opinion. So I don’t have any regrets since I don’t believe I placed anybody in an uncomfortable position.”
Embiid, on the other hand, expressed remorse for the way the situation between Simmons and the club has devolved to this point. When asked what he would’ve said to Simmons if he’d been given the opportunity to speak with him — something Embiid said he and his teammates tried to do but were turned down — Embiid hesitated for 10 seconds before choosing what to say.
Embiid finally said, “Honestly, I’d probably say I’m disappointed.” “Because I — look, clearly we haven’t won anything, but based on what’s been stated in the media and what you guys have tweeted about your sources and things, I’d look at it this way: look at what we’ve been able to do. We’ve been so good and dominating in the regular season that we know it’s working. I’m sad that we’ve arrived at this stage…. I’m just sad he’s not here, since I’m sure he’s aware of it as well. He understands that if we work together, we can win.”
“I don’t believe it’s actually that hard, on that one,” Rivers joked about Tyrese Maxey filling in for Simmons as the team’s starting point guard.
Maxey, according to Danny Green, “carries himself as if he were a movie star. I think he will become a celebrity one day.”
However, Simmons is nowhere to be seen, and the Sixers will adapt to their new reality when they hit the floor for their first session of training camp on Tuesday.
Tobias Harris stated, “He’s a big component of our squad.” “He’s our point guard,” says the coach. I was just telling someone about this the other day. Any team in the NBA, whether a championship club or a bottom-of-the-pack squad, loses their starting point guard, and the team finds itself in an odd situation. The point guard position is one of the most crucial in the NBA.
“It’s unfortunate that he won’t be able to attend. But, as I told the guys on the squad, he’s still part of our team, Ben is still part of our team, he’s still got 15 people in that locker room, probably seven or eight who played with him last year, and he’s still our brother. As a result, we are hopeful that the issue will be addressed. If it doesn’t, we’ll go on to the next step and get this thing started. Because, at the end of the day, the other 29 teams that must face us are unconcerned. They’re going to kick our butts, so we have to be ready. That is the truth of the situation.”