What looked like an unsalvageable relationship has gradually turned into a more hopeful situation for the Philadelphia 76ers. Earlier this week, the team welcomed Ben Simmons back after a couple of months full of rumors and speculation.
It looks like the Australian player is still on the move. Yet, the Sixers could see him wearing their jersey once again, according to recent reports. They want to win the title and having Simmons on board will surely help them reach their goal.
However, it's unclear if the disgruntled star will change his mind and decide to stay with the squad, especially after how things ended for him last season. The 25-year-old took all the blame for the Sixers' elimination in the second round of the playoff.
Following a poor performance against the Atlanta Hawks, Ben received plenty of criticism from people within the organization, fans, and the media. Those nasty comments changed things for the point guard, who didn't want to return to Philly until this week.
A recent story by ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reveals that Simmons wanted a fresh start in a place where he was allowed to 'make mistakes.'
He needed to start over, he said, in a place where he "could make mistakes."
Simmons and his supporters believe the Sixers tried to protect him in those years by doing things like having him inbound the ball at the end of a game, rather than be put in a position where a team might foul him. Or by challenging him to shoot more behind closed doors -- in heart-to-heart chats with then-coach Brown -- rather than through the media.
"I appreciate you guys coming out here," Simmons said, according to multiple sources at the meeting. "I understand how you feel. But I feel how I feel. And it's just time for a change."
Ben was (and probably still is) ready to leave the Sixers and start over somewhere else. The team is still trying to find the best package for the playmaker, but things don't look that promising for them at this moment.
Perhaps with Ben wearing the team's jersey again, playing some quality minutes and showing the results of his offseason workout, the Sixers find better offers for him. Maybe, just maybe, they can convince the player to stay with them, depending on these results.
Although he's back in the city, nothing points out that he'll stay with the franchise for the long run. Time will tell how this saga ends and what's next for the player and his current team.