Joel Embiid: Ben Simmons would be accepted back to 76ers, but he has to want to be here
After last night’s loss to the Phoenix Suns, Joel Embiid spoke with the media and yet again, touched on Ben Simmons and the possibility of him rejoining the 76ers if he is not moved before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
Yesterday was an eventful day throughout the NBA with several big trades happening. In a matter of hours, the Portland Trailblazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, and Indiana Pacers all made significant trades while the 76ers remained quiet.
Portland sent Norman Powell and Robert Covington to the Los Angeles Clippers and CJ McCollum, Larry Nance, and Tony Snell to New Orleans for Josh Hart, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Tomas Satoransky.
The Kings shipped Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield and Tristan Thompson to the Indiana Pacers for Domantas Sabonis, Jeremy Lamb, and Justin Holiday.
All things considered, it would appear that Daryl Morey and the 76ers’ front office are continuing to hold out hopes that they can land James Harden. Whether that can happen before Thursday’s deadline is completely up in the air, with multiple reports coming from every side of the situation.
So what happens if there is no Ben Simmons trade on Thursday?
Well, as I’ve written many times before, we have started to hear rumors popping up that Ben Simmons will meet with the 76ers after the deadline if he’s not traded.
From there, you had Woj stating that if Ben Simmons did return to the 76ers, he would receive a standing ovation (lol). Danny Green then talked about how he doesn’t think Ben Simmons would be traded, but he also doesn’t think that he will sit out for the rest of the year.
Yesterday, Jake Fischer from the Bleacher Report stated the following:
The prospect of Simmons’ potential return will then take center stage after Thursday’s theatrics come to a close. Sixers brass have consistently messaged an optimism that Simmons may be willing to rejoin Philadelphia if a deal doesn’t materialize before the deadline.
Numerous figures affiliated with Simmons’ representation insist he’ll never dress for the franchise again, but there are people around Simmons who have recently pushed for the All-Star to retake the floor if he’s not dealt, sources said.
Who knows if Ben Simmons will actually return. There’s been zero indication that the possibility of him playing for the 76ers is even on the table. Honestly, I highly doubt that will happen but we literally haven’t heard from Simmons directly since last year’s playoffs so no one really knows at this point.
I will defer to Joel Embiid on the possibility of Simmons returning to the 76ers.
Joel Embiid: Ben Simmons has to want to be here
Embiid said last night that he and his teammates would welcome back Ben Simmons if he isn’t traded after Thursday’s deadline.
“Anybody is welcome to play, and if you want to be part of us, I am sure everybody is gonna be fine with it, but you got to show up. You got to want to be here.”
Even after last night’s loss, the 76ers are 32-22 and only 2.5 games behind the Eastern Conference leading Miami Heat. Embiid continued last night’s statements saying the following:
“I get paid to bring results and win games. I don’t get paid to, you know, babysit Tyrese (Maxey). I get paid to challenge him to try to help me win games. I get paid to, you know, do the same thing to Tobias (Harris) and all the other guys and they respond to it, every single time. And just like the same way they challenge me, they know that it is never personal. I always go at them, and they always come back at me, because we all got the same goal: we want to win.”
Credit to Embiid. He has been consistent with his messaging since the start of the entire Ben Simmons saga. He wants to win championships. He wants anyone on the team that can help him achieve that goal. Ben Simmons would be someone that can help him achieve that goal. Obviously, he would welcome him back.
We have just over a day and a half before the deadline. If Simmons wants to come back, of course it would be rough at first and rightfully so, but there’s definitely a path to redemption available if he wants to journey down that road.
- Ben Simmons could return to the Sixers with very little effort, and be forgiven within a week of taking the court again.
- Hold a press conference and apologize for the distractions he has caused and how the entire situation unfolded over the past few months.
- Be honest, and say that you were in a bad place mentally and thought it would be best to move on and start somewhere else new.
- Acknowledge that the NBA is a business and that you need to be better focusing on basketball and not worrying about outside noise in regards to trade rumors and social media.
- Say you are ready to move forward and focus on rebuilding your relationship with your teammates, coaches, and 76ers fans.
- Take the court, hustle your ass off, and shoot the basketball.
From there, I would bet my mortgage that Ben Simmons would be forgiven within a week. Take the boos and criticism and address the situation head on and the people of Philadelphia will get behind you.
Everyone makes mistakes. Philadelphia knows that better than anyone. There’s always room for redemption, and IF Ben Simmons wanted to return, the path is already laid out for him.