Ben Simmons is back in Philadelphia.
The three-time All-Star arrived at the Wells Fargo Center prior to the team’s tip-off against the Nets in order to take a COVID-19 test, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (NBA players are required to pass several tests in order to re-join their teams if they spend time away from them).
As Woj adds, the Sixers were not aware that Simmons was flying to Philadelphia. The team had been in contact with his agent Rich Paul, though they hadn’t spoken to Simmons since meeting with him in Los Angeles back in August.
Simmons hasn’t committed to returning to the court and rejoining his teammates, though it appears that this is a step in that direction.
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- The Sixers are expected to continue to have trade talks with other teams around Simmons even if the All-Star re-joins the franchise, Woj adds (same piece). Philadelphia hasn’t been able to find a deal that’s suitable for them, as they’d like to swap Simmons for a star to pair with Joel Embiid for a championship run.
- Frank Ntilikina inked a two-year deal with the Mavericks this offseason and he told longtime NBA journalist Marc Stein (via substack) that Dallas showed strong interest from the start of free agency. The former No. 8 overall pick is on a two-year, minimum-salary contract with the team.
- David Aldridge of The Athletic hears that Simmons would be open to a trade to the Kings. That report was prior to the news that his camp had progressed in talks with the Sixers, though it’s something to keep an eye on as the season goes along.