Sixers’ Ben Simmons Reportedly Has Been Practicing With St. Joseph’s

Ben Simmons has been working out with the St. Joseph’s basketball team in Philadelphia while avoiding practices and games with the 76ers, according to Howard Eskin of Sportsradio WIP.Ben Simmons

The All-Star guard/forward has told the Sixers he has not joined the team because he’s not yet mentally ready. Agent Rich Paul also recently addressed Simmons’ situation with the team, telling Shams Charania of The Athletic that the Sixers are furthering Simmons’ health issues by fining him.

“I truly believe the fines, the targeting, the negative publicity shined on the issue — that’s very unnecessary and has furthered the mental health issues for Ben,” Paul told Charania. “Either you help Ben, or come out and say he’s lying. Which one is it?”

But if the report on Simmons is true, then he is ready to practice — just not with the 76ers.

The Sixers strongly denied that they are forcing Simmons to return, but per Charania, believe that he should take part in all team activities unless they receive information from their mental health professional that would prevent him playing.

Simmons, 25, has not appeared in a game since Game 7 of the 76ers’ Eastern Conference semifinal loss to the Hawks. He has been at the center of trade rumors ever since. 

It has been reported that Simmons no longer wants to play for the 76ers and intends to wait out for a trade until he suits up again.

“I don’t think that’s something we thought about yet,” shooting guard Danny Green told reporters of a potential Simmons-Sixers reunion. “We don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon. But it’s something that hasn’t really crossed our minds yet.”

Former 76ers great Charles Barkley recently ripped Simmons for avoiding the team.

“He came and then he acted like a jerk in practice,” Barkley said on TNT’s popular “Inside The NBA” program, via Ky Carlin of USA Today. “They wanted him back. Then, because he wanted to get paid, he came back, and he started acting like a jerk and they kicked him out. They gave him another chance.

“They said, ‘OK, you said you’ve got some issues.’ He said, ‘I don’t wanna see your guys.’ They start fining him, now he’s back. They’ve bent over backwards to kiss this dude’s (expletive). Now it’s time they start kicking his (expletive).”

The Cavaliers, Spurs, Raptors, Trail Blazers, Timberwolves, Pacers, Pistons, Kings, Rockets and Celtics are all said to be actively engaged in talks on Simmons.

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