Ahead of training camp, Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers made an appearance on ESPN's First Take to discuss the latest on Ben Simmons.
"Yeah, I mean it was a good conversation," Rivers responded when asked by Stephen A. Smith if Simmons had made it known that he wanted out of Philadelphia. "He gave his reasons, which we obviously didn't agree with. But you know, in sports, there's been so many times this has happened that hasn't been reported and the guy comes back.
"Listen, we're going to go through it, we're going to always do what's best for the team, but I can tell you up front, we would love to get Ben back. And if we can, we're going to try to do that. You know, Ben has a long contract. It's in our hands and we want him back."
Doc Rivers on Ben Simmons informing the 76ers that he wants to be traded;- First Take (@FirstTake) September 22, 2021
"I can tell you up front, we would love to get Ben back. And if we can, we're going to try to do that. pic.twitter.com/JeWoIE3W7U
The day prior, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Simmons would not report for the opening of training camp and that he "intends to never play another game" for the 76ers.
Wojnarowski added that Simmons "has no plans to wear an NBA uniform again" until he is on a new team.
Philadelphia's 2020-21 season came to an end with a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Less than a month later, news broke that the 76ers had "opened up trade conversations" surrounding Simmons. According to Marc Stein, the Toronto Raptors, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs and Sacramento Kings have each since engaged with the 76ers in trade talks for Simmons.
Simmons signed a five-year, $170 million extension with the 76ers in 2019. He has four more seasons remaining on his current contract.
The 76ers will open training camp on Tuesday, Sept. 28. The team opens preseason play on Oct. 4 with a matchup against the Toronto Raptors. They will then open the regular season on Oct. 20 when they travel to New Orleans to face the Pelicans.
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