Rich Paul, Ben Simmons’ agent at Klutch Sports, and the 76ers are having discussions about bringing Simmons back to Philadelphia, a league source has confirmed.
The disgruntled point guard has been a no-show this season after telling Sixers brass in August that he wanted to be traded. A source said Paul and the Sixers had discussions all weekend. He could return as early as this week.
Meanwhile, Simmons is putting his Moorestown house up for sale, according to a league source.
This comes after The Inquirer reported last week Simmons’s place at The Ritz-Carlton Residences of Philadelphia was listed on Oct. 3 for $3.1 million and that he planned to sell his Moorestown home. Sources said he would want to list it for $4.9 million. He paid around $2.275 million for the South Jersey home.
The main question is: Would Simmons actually play for the Sixers?
Even if Simmons comes back to Philadelphia, a league source told The Inquirer recently that Simmons still doesn’t intend to play a game.
“You are never getting the same player back in Philly,” a source said. “You definitely are not getting him back in uniform. Even if he was in uniform, you are not getting back the same player.”
Time will tell.
For now, there’s a possibility that he will return at least to Philadelphia.
ESPN was first to report both sides progressing in talks to bring Simmons back.
“I’ve played my [entire] career with Ben,” Sixers guard Furkan Korkmaz said following Monday’s shootaround. “I don’t know what the decision is going to be, what they make, what the organization makes. I would like to play with him again.
“I want to see him back here. On the court, off the court, I know what kind of person he is. How strong a character he is. We would like to have him back. I would like to have him back.”
The Sixers withheld his scheduled $8.25 million salary payment on Oct. 1 and placed it in an escrow account, sources confirmed. This came after Simmons received a payment of $8.25 million on July 1. His contract is structured for him to receive 50% of this season’s $33 million salary by Oct. 1.
The three-time All-Star has four years and $146.6 million left on his contract.
Sources have said putting the $8.25 million in escrow was an option for the Sixers as they looked to ensure that any fines for his training camp no-show and games missed could be deducted from that account moving forward.
Beginning with a 123-107 preseason loss to the Toronto Raptors on Oct. 4, the Sixers intended to deduct $360,000 for each game missed from the money placed in escrow. Their third preseason game was Monday night vs. the Brooklyn Nets at Wells Fargo Center. His fines for games missed would total $1.08 million after missing the game. The preseason finale is scheduled for Friday, and the season opener is the following Wednesday, Oct. 20, at New Orleans.
A league source said the Minnesota Timberwolves, Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors, and San Antonio Spurs are still inquiring about Simmons’ availability.
The expectation is that Simmons will still be traded.
The Sixers’ position that they’re not going to trade Simmons just to make a trade has been consistent. They’re trying to win a championship, and believe they’re in a better position to win one with him on the roster.
The Moorestown home has yet to post on Multiple Listing Service. However, it took four days for his place at The Ritz to post on MLS after his realtor originally posted it on Facebook.
Simmons has made some upgrades to his 10,000-square-foot home in Moorestown that sits on 1.78 acres. He finished the basement, put in a new kitchen, replaced the flooring, added a pool, and furnished the house.