Joel Embiid thinks Ben Simmons return is good for Sixers
Joel Embiid has struggled to get in touch with his superstar sidekick Ben Simmons since the Sixers abandoned Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs in June.
After Simmons called for a trade before the NBA Draft combine, the Sixers considered all options, including swapping him and even keeping him. After making offers, 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey decided it would be best to keep Simmons because the right offers weren’t coming.
Therefore, Sixers officials traveled to Los Angeles for a face-to-face meeting with Simmons. In an attempt to convince him to return to the squad with an open mind, the 76ers were dismissed as Simmons reiterated that he was done with the organization and wanted to be traded. And to get what he wanted, he took time off from training camp and preseason games.
Simmons stayed true to his commitment throughout training camp and the first preseason games, but on Monday night, the star guard made a surprising return to Philadelphia as the 76ers faced the Brooklyn Nets. After the big win over Brooklyn, Sixers center Joel Embiid responded to the news of Simmons’ arrival.
“It’s good for the organization,” Embiid said. “It’s something everyone wanted. I’ve always said I believe he gives us the best chance of winning. We’re a better team with him than without, for sure. I’m happy. let things be resolved, and we can go ahead and try to be a better team. “
Embiid has publicly indicated that he wants to continue playing with Simmons throughout the offseason. While he described the overall situation as disappointing and bordering on disrespectful in some ways, the finalist MVP made it clear that he has no hard feelings towards his teammate.
As long as Ben Simmons returns with good intentions and is ready to join the 2021-2022 Sixers, then everything will be forgotten by Joel Embiid as he is solely focused on winning games and returning a championship to Philadelphia.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.