Embiid: Simmons' holdout with 76ers 'resolved' after reported arrival in Philly
Disgruntled Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons arrived at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center on Monday night to begin undertaking COVID-19 testing precautions that will allow him to join his teammates, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The 76ers were unaware Simmons was reporting for testing until he arrived for it, Wojnarowski reports.
Center Joel Embiid seemingly confirmed his teammate's arrival following Philadelphia's 115-104 preseason win over the Brooklyn Nets, referring to the situation as "resolved."
"I've always said that I believe that he gives us the chance to win," Embiid said, per The Athletic's Rich Hofmann. "We are a better team with him than without, that's for sure. So I'm happy that things are resolved, and we can move on and try to be a better team."
Earlier in the day, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers expressed optimism that Simmons would end his highly public holdout and return to the team in time for next week's season opener.
"My guess would be yes (he'll play), but I can't guarantee that. I don't know that yet," Rivers said prior to Monday's game, via Hofmann.
"We said from day one what we wanted - that we'd love to get him back," Rivers added.
Rivers also confirmed that discussions with Simmons' agent, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, have been constructive.
"Our conversations have been good throughout, honestly," Rivers said. "So I don't know if anything's changed, but we've had very good conversations."
Though the likelihood of Simmons fully rejoining his teammates has dramatically increased, the team is still exploring potential trades for the 25-year-old, Wojnarowski reports.
Simmons initially refused to report to the 76ers in an attempt to force an exit.
The three-time All-Star has missed three of the team's four preseason contests, plus its media day availability on Sept. 27, and forfeited over $1 million of his 2021-22 salary, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks.
Philadelphia's regular-season slate begins Oct. 20 on the road against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The 76ers' front office has reportedly been active in trade discussions in the event the former Rookie of the Year remains steadfast in his desire to leave, though no one seems willing to meet their high asking price.
In negotiations with the Trail Blazers, Philadelphia reportedly asked for three future first-round selections plus the rights to swap an additional three future picks, though Portland rebuffed that proposal. The Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, and Minnesota Timberwolves have also been linked to Simmons at different points over the summer.
- Report: Lillard wants to play with Simmons; Blazers, 76ers discussed deals
- Rockets down Pelicans for 6th straight win after 15-game losing streak
- Jazz survive Cavs' late surge for 4th straight win
- Randle: Knicks must get back to winning games with defense
- Jokic jokingly credits horse race for performance vs. Knicks