LAS VEGAS — Danny Green will make it a point to reach out to 76ers teammate Ben Simmons.
The two haven’t spoken since Fourth of July weekend. Green, who re-signed with the Sixers this past Saturday, said he’s been giving Simmons space. He’s also preparing to get married Saturday.
It’s no secret that Simmons is being shopped and hasn’t communicated with the team’s brass, recently. His agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group, has been in contact with the Sixers.
“Ben’s not a text type of guy,” Green said Thursday of not speaking to his teammate. “So I sent a text here or two and no response [and] a little bit later, randomly. But he’s more of a FaceTime [communicator], typically. I haven’t spoken to him in a little while. I haven’t been able to FaceTime him. I have a lot going on with the wedding.
“So there’s a lot going on on my end, as well.”
Green’s also had to deal with free agency.
“But I will make it a point,” he said of reaching out to Simmons. “Dwight [Howard] talked to him. I talked to Dwight, recently. I think he is coming to the wedding, as well. He said he saw him in L.A. working out.
“But I will FaceTime in the coming weeks after this wedding is over and I’ll be out in L.A., at my house there, to check up on him.”
Howard and Green were veteran additions to last season’s squad after helping the Los Angeles Lakers win the 2020 NBA title. Howard, who returned to the Lakers last week in free agency, developed a tight kinship with Simmons.
The reserve center and Green took up for Simmons after he was criticized for passing up shots and poor foul shooting in the Eastern Conference semifinals series loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
“Sometimes some people need that conversation right away,” he said. “Some people need console and comfort. ... I think with Ben the right move is give him some space, early on.”
Green believes now is the right time.
“He’s had the time now,” Green said. “He’s been in L.A. He’s been relaxed. So many things have gone on where the media is just not thinking about him anymore about his wrongs or his mishaps or his flaws ...
“The thing about social media, good and bad, is that if you do well, they are going to blow you up. If you do bad, there’s always going to be somebody do something bad or good [later] that they are going to forget about it.”
Green hopes that relaxation enabled Simmons to heal mentally and emotionally and reset and re-identify himself. That’s what he hopes to talk to Simmons about.
Green doesn’t see being traded as a bad thing. He looks at it as another team wants you and there’s an opportunity to reinvent and reidentify yourself.
“That’s maybe why you hear rumors of him wanting to go somewhere else or the team wants to move him,” he said. “Maybe he felt like he couldn’t reidentify himself here. He can do it better at another city.
“But that’s not always true. You can do that in the city you play in. You can come back [a different] player. You have more time off this summer to work on some things, reset your mindset, reset yourself. ... That would be my advice to him and all the players that have been traded.”
Green on reuniting with Sixers
Green thought the Sixers would have a great opportunity to win an NBA title if they brought everybody back. That was his first reason for signing a two-year, $20 million deal to return to the team. The second factor was the free-agency market was lower than expected.
“You can see around the league, a lot of guys are getting either crazy numbers or very low numbers,” he said of free-agent contracts. “It seems like the middle ground is kind of missing again. Some superstar are taking a big bulk of the cap and a lot of guys are on veteran minimums.
“So kind of trying to find the common area, that middle ground for me.”
Green had several suitors in free agency. They just didn’t have the roster space or cap money to acquire him.
Howard tried to get him to come back to the Lakers. George Hill, another former Sixer, wanted Green to go the Milwaukee Bucks. But those teams only had minimum deals.
Joel Embiid sent him a text message at the end of the season, stating he wanted Green to return the Sixers. Tobias Harris called him nonstop.
“We communicated throughout the process about what’s going on,” Green said of Harris, who in addition to being a teammate is a longtime friend from Long Island, N.Y. “He said, ‘Look man, you can’t go there. I can’t lose you to that team.’ ... So yeah, it was great to talk to my teammates to see how excited they were that I’m back.”