Advertisement

76ers' Doc Rivers on Ben Simmons: 'We would love to get Ben back'

76ers' Doc Rivers on Ben Simmons: 'We would love to get Ben back'
Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons (L), shown March 27, 2021, averaged 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists last season. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers is hoping to convince Ben Simmons to remain with the team after reports surfaced saying the All-Star guard wants to leave the franchise.

ESPN reported Tuesday that Simmons told the team he won't report to training camp next week and doesn't plan to play for the 76ers again. Rivers confirmed Wednesday that Simmons requested a trade during a meeting in August.

Advertisement

"In sports, there's been so many times this has happened that hasn't been reported, and the guy comes back," Rivers said on ESPN's First Take. "So 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. So it's in our hands and we want him back."

RELATED Gersson Rosas out as Minnesota Timberwolves' president of basketball ops

Questions about Simmons' future in Philadelphia were raised after he averaged just 9.9 points per game in the 76ers' seven-game playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks earlier this year. He attempted only 14 shots over the final three games of that series.

Advertisement

Simmons averaged 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists in the 2020-21 regular season. He shot 56% from the field, but he only converted 30% of his 3-pointers -- attempting just 10 the entire season.

"We forget how he gets guys open shots, how he puts pressure on defenses with his athletic speed," Rivers told ESPN on Wednesday. "Yeah, there's things he needs to work on and we can work on, but we can absolutely win with him.

RELATED Veteran guard J.J. Redick retires after 15 NBA seasons

"... I get his feelings. I understand where he's at right now, but we're going to keep trying to work on it to get him in the right place."

The 25-year-old Simmons is a three-time All-Star selection and has made the NBA's All-Defensive Team twice. He also was an All-NBA Third Team selection in 2020.

Simmons has four years and about $147 million remaining on his current contract.

RELATED Dallas Mavericks sign ex-New York Knicks guard, No. 8 pick Frank Ntilikina

The 76ers' media day is set for Sept. 27, with training camp scheduled to begin Sept. 28.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement