To open Monday’s Media Day, Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers and president of basketball operations Daryl Morey conducted a joint presser, which largely centered on Ben Simmons and his absence from the organization.
Both Rivers and Morey reiterated they would like to see Simmons back as a member of the team. Morey expressed “a lot of optimism” about the ability to repair disconnect between Simmons and the team. He likened the situation to Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who was involved in rumors about his reported discontent much of the NFL off-season, but remained a Packer nonetheless and has his team atop the NFC North.
Morey said he last met with Simmons 6-7 weeks ago and has been in communication with “his representation” more recently. When asked if there’s any sense that Simmons could return to the team “at some point,” Morey did not affirm or refute that inquiry.
“Ben’s a great player,” Morey said. “We expect him back. We expect him to be a 76er.”
Morey declined to discuss the specifics of any potential fines levied against Simmons as a result of his holdout, but said “it’s pretty, very clearly spelled out in the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) and his contract what happens.”