Ben Simmons skipped a scheduled individual workout with the 76ers on Thursday and will not play in Friday’s game vs. the Nets, as relayed by Shams Charania of The Athletic and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Simmons cited back tightness as the reason for skipping the workout, though he did show up to the 76ers’ practice facility and receive treatment. The 76ers cleared him to work out following the treatment, Wojnarowski reported.
But per Charania, Simmons “is currently not mentally ready to play,” and may not be for some time.
Both the 76ers and Simmons are hopeful of a trade, though nothing seems close. But as NBA sources have repeatedly told Hoops Wire, that can change quickly.
That especially seems true as the drama surrounding both the player and team has been ongoing.
Charania recently reported that Simmons isn’t totally against playing for the 76ers until a trade partner is found, but that he is not yet prepared mentally to take the court.
“People present at the scene say Simmons has simply come and gone inside the 76ers’ Camden, N.J., facility since returning to practice Sunday,” Charania wrote. “He enters the facility and ignores most 76ers staffers.
“For instance, when the 76ers’ security official greeted Simmons on Sunday, the three-time All-Star just walked right by him. When others greet him, Simmons typically has given no response. It’s not a requirement for Simmons to talk to people inside the facility, but those present say he has been disengaged and not an active participant.”
The Cavaliers, Timberwolves, Raptors, Pistons and Spurs are said to be among as many as nine teams in pursuit of Simmons.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 21, 2021