The Philadelphia 76ers are in a tough spot as they get set to open up their season on Wednesday against the New Orleans Pelicans. They are looking to move forward with their championship quest in the 2021-22 season amid a volatile situation with star guard Ben Simmons.
The Sixers got back to work at practice on Tuesday to prepare for the Pelicans, but Simmons was tossed home out of practice due to not participating in a defensive drill. The team then suspended Simmons for the opener on Wednesday as it casts more doubt about whether he will play in any games for Philadelphia.
The Sixers have maintained that they want Simmons with the team and they will not move him unless they get a championship-caliber player right now to help Joel Embiid win a title. That remains the case as they move forward as a group.
Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and The Stadium, the Sixers have the same stance on Simmons:
The 76ers are not trying to move Simmons and have made clear that they will not deal him at this time, according to sources. The franchise wants Simmons to show up to practices and games, to be engaged and to perform to his capabilities. Simmons is not against playing, but he is not mentally ready yet, sources insist.
Simmons is still under contract for four more years. While he can throw a tantrum and be upset that he has not been moved yet, he needs to do his part and be a professional to help Philadelphia facilitate a deal. If he can get on the floor and be a guy who can help this team right now, then that will help his stock as a player and boost his value.
Simmons’ next chance to get back in a game will be at home on Friday against the Brooklyn Nets. If he decides to play in that one, then he will have to deal with the wrath of Sixers fans who are not happy with his recent behavior.
This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!