His unannounced arrival at Wells Fargo Center was the latest story in a drama-filled summer.
Simmons missed the first two weeks of training camp and had racked up nearly $1 million in fines and missed game checks.
While the substantial loss of salary is the widely circulated reason why he returned, other sources believe differently.
Simmons was prepared to sacrifice a large sum of money during his holdout, sources say.
Simmons took a COVID test Monday night, his physical on Tuesday, and began on-court work with Sixers coaches in isolation on Wednesday.
All of this adds up to a very uncomfortable situation in Philadelphia.
Plenty has been said about Simmons, from media and fans to even Rivers and Embiid.
Simmons feels as though he has been disrespected even though most facts paint a different picture.
Moving forward, what can Simmons and the 76ers do to move past this?
Simmons Needs To Speak With Teammates
Step one is for Simmons to communicate with his teammates.
“The situation is weird, disappointing, borderline kinda disrespectful to all the guys that are out here fighting for their lives. Some guys rely on the team to be successful to statin the league and make money somehow.”
Joel Embiid says it is borderline disrespectful Ben Simmons is not here with Sixers because players on the Sixers are trying to make a living & some have their livelihoods on the line
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) September 30, 2021
As much as Embiid has publicly declared he enjoys playing with Simmons, the feelings are not mutual.
The All-Defensive guard feels he cannot reach his full potential playing next to Embiid.
And he believes the organization has shaped the roster to accentuate Embiid’s talent, not his own.
Embiid, and recent moves by the front office, say otherwise.
“I feel like our teams have always been built around his needs. So it was kind of surprising to see. I mean the reason we signed Al [Horford] is [Simmons]. We got rid of Jimmy [Butler] because [Simmons] needed the ball in his hands.”
Both statements made by Embiid are accurate.
Horford was brought on to provide Simmons with a more mobile big who could space the floor.
And Butler was not re-signed so Simmons could continue as the primary ball-handler.
Whatever reports have come out about what Simmons believes are just that – reports.
Simmons needs to speak with his teammates to clear the air and give them the truth about why he is doing all of this.
Because the best way for Simmons to get out of Philly is by playing well and to do that he will need his teammates.
76ers Need To Find A Trade ASAP
The fact of the matter is it will be awkward between Simmons the organization while he remains with the team.
Simmons can speak with teammates, coaches, and the front office, but the whole situation has gone off the deep end.
As much as Embiid, Rivers, and Morey publicly state they want him back to try and win it is only a matter of time until he gets traded.
There will always be the comments made by Embiid and Rivers after Game 7 last against the Atlanta Hawks last year.
Sixers coach Doc Rivers was asked postgame if Ben Simmons can be the point guard on a championship team.
"I don't know the answer to that right now," Rivers said.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 21, 2021
And Simmons will always play second fiddle to Embiid as a 76er, something he clearly doesn’t prefer.
To move past this whole situation, Philadelphia simply needs to find a trade for their star guard.
It is highly unlikely anything happens before the start of the season or during the first month or two.
But Philadelphia needs to be sure they are ready when December 15 rolls around.
That is when all the players signed this offseason become available in trade talks.
But if the Portland Trail Blazers and Washington Wizards start the season hot and make it known they won’t part with their stars, the 76ers need to have a backup plan.