The Philadelphia 76ers have no plans on budging when it comes to Ben Simmons.
The Simmons saga has been one of the bigger storylines of the NBA offseason and has bled into the regular season. The 76ers suspended Simmons for one game due to conduct detrimental to the team after he was reportedly booted from practice for being a “distraction.”
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On Thursday, Philadelphia general manager Daryl Morey opened up on the Simmons situation in an interview with “97.5 The Fanatic.”
“Every day, expect him to come in and move toward being able to help us on the floor, because we know we’re a better team with Ben Simmons. We know that’s the best plan for the team,” Morey said, via the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Morey said he and the rest of the team will do whatever it takes to have Simmons play. But how long will the mending of fences take?
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“You are going to think I’m kidding. I’m not. This could take four years. The conditions I pointed out to you don’t change unless Ben Simmons is traded for a difference-maker. We are in the prime of Joel’s career … So this could be four years,” Morey said.
“This not a day-to-day thing. This is like every day we are going to expect Ben Simmons to be back here, or we are trading him for a difference-maker. There’s no other outcome that doesn’t materially hurt our chance to win the championship in Joel Embiid’s prime.”
Simmons has been put under the microscope since the team’s early exit from the NBA playoffs earlier this year. He reportedly asked for a trade and rebuffed a meeting with his fellow teammates in the offseason.
Joel Embiid gave Simmons the harshest criticism to date earlier this week after the point guard was booted from practice and given a one-game suspension.
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“At this point, I don’t care about that man. He does whatever he wants,” Embiid said Tuesday.