Ben Simmons shocked a lot of people earlier this week when he opted to return to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The 25-year-old had insisted for months that he was prepared for his feud with the Sixers to get ugly amid his trade demand, only to relent and return to the team when faced with the smallest bit of financial pressure.
Multiple Sixers players have spoken about Simmons’ return over the past 48 hours. Danny Green was particularly savage in his assessment. Joel Embiid was fairly cold in his.
But public statements rarely depict true feelings.
This week, Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice delved into how Embiid really feels about Simmons’ surprising return.
“In spite of the distance between the two over the summer and the shade cast in both directions through public interviews and leaked reports, Embiid ultimately just wants to win, and has expressed a desire to get Simmons in the fold and working toward contending,” he wrote. “If Simmons proves stubborn or uninterested in doing so, the team believes Embiid is onboard with not settling for a trade just to be done with the problem altogether.”
For Embiid, it all boils down to knowing that he cannot win a title alone. He needs help.
“To win a title, Embiid is aware they need star-level talent, whether that means winning Simmons back over or waiting for a star to get antsy in another market,” Neubeck continued. “People around the Sixers organization have noted changes in him as a leader and voice in the locker room, with Embiid ready and willing to work with whatever (and whoever) they have if a quick resolution doesn’t happen.”
When Terry Bradshaw saw what Erin Andrews was wearing, he couldn’t help himself. https://t.co/Yg0qPqcErK
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 15, 2021
There is currently one ‘sleeper’ team that could make a serious play for Simmons in the coming weeks.
If they don’t, however – then Simmons might be in for a very long and extremely awkward season with the Sixers.
Related: Rajon Rondo’s 4-Word Description Of Russell Westbrook