The end of this Ben Simmons saga seems to be in sight now, for the first time in months.
After a long hold-out that spanned an entire offseason, Ben has seemingly caved over the thought of losing out on millions of dollars.
He showed in Philly today and is apparently going through the steps of re-joining the team. Interestingly, nobody knew the guy was coming.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, he apparently just showed up out of nowhere, surprising team officials at the arena.
After staying away for two weeks to start the NBA preseason, 76ers All-Star guard Ben Simmons reported to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Monday night -- much to the surprise of an organization that had expected him later in the week, sources told ESPN.
As the Sixers neared the tip of a 115-104 preseason victory over the Brooklyn Nets, Simmons -- fresh off a flight from Los Angeles -- entered the arena to take a COVID-19 test and start the process of returning to a franchise from which he has requested a trade, sources said.
Obviously, this is a wild turn of events. Not long ago, Ben was adamant about not returning to Philly, citing that it was a place where his game was unable to grow.
"Yet of all the problem areas to explore, there’s none more unyielding and impossible to ignore than this: People who have intimate knowledge of how he sees this situation continue to insist that he’s done playing with Embiid. There’s nothing personal about this choice, it seems, but the 25-year-old Simmons has clearly decided that his career is better off without Embiid blocking the runways in the paint that he so badly needs to succeed," said Sam Amick.
"As he sees it, sources say, the organization’s choice to build its basketball ecosystem around Embiid’s style simply isn’t conducive to the way he needs to play. So while Embiid insisted to reporters on Monday that he wants Simmons back, this much is clear: The feeling is not mutual," he concluded.
Just because Simmons is back in town, though, doesn't mean things will return to normal. After all that happened, it's hard to believe that Ben will be able to integrate himself back onto the roster like nothing happened.
Whether he's just playing for a paycheck or to get his trade value back up, it's unlikely that the guy enjoys the thought of a long-term stay in Philadelphia.