Ben Simmons set to backflip on stalemate, could return to Sixers ‘this week’

Basketball

UPDATE: Ben Simmons’ holdout with the Philadelphia 76ers looks close to an end with the Australian All-Star returning to Philadelphia.

It’s understood the 25-year-old old is starting to question his approach to the situation after being fined around $360,000 ($A490,000) for missing Philadelphia’s opening pre-season loss to Toronto.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Simmons has already taken a COVID-19 test after returning to Philadelphia with the organisation “hopeful to start moving toward the next steps of a return”.

However, there is still no certainty that Simmons will actually don a Sixers jersey again.

Simmons’ reported return to Philadelphia comes after reports stated that his agent Rich Paul was “working around the clock on a resolution” that ends with the three-time All-Star returning to Philadelphia, according to The Athletic.

Prior to the Sixers’ pre-season contest against the Brooklyn Nets, coach Doc Rivers said he’d had good conversations with Paul, but had not yet spoken to Simmons.

“We’ve said from day one what we wanted,” Rivers told reporters.

“That we would love to get him back. Other than that, honestly there’s nothing to report. … Our position hasn’t changed at all.”

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Simmons and his agent spoke with the NBA Players Association last week and the union confirmed the disgruntled star cannot recoup the money he’s fined by the Sixers, forcing him to rethink his strategy.

The Australian doesn’t want to extend his stay with the 76ers but is considering a return to boost his trade value and expedite his trade.

The reported move is a massive backflip and something that hardly ever happens in the NBA with star players usually getting what they want if a trade is being pushed.

How Simmons plans to mix with teammates that he shunned earlier in the preseason is unclear.

Reports emerged that Simmons rejected a meeting with his teammates, with the Aussie reportedly saying Simmons’ partnership with Joel Embiid had ran its course.

Embiid described that as “borderline disrespectful” and its unknown how he plans to smooth things over with his teammates.

Then there’s the Philadelphia fan base.

Everyone from news anchors, weathermen to the average fan have expressed their displeasure with the way the Aussie has dealt with the issue.

Even a small ‘F— Ben Simmons’ chant broke out at a Philadelphia wrestling event earlier in the week.

Simmons has four years and $147 million ($A202m) remaining on his current max contract.

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