One of the gripes Ben Simmons reportedly has about his current situation with the Philadelphia 76ers stems from the belief that he’s not able to fit alongside Joel Embiid on the court anymore. While there’s nothing personal there, Simmons’ thought is that the two can’t effectively play alongside one another.
According to a new report by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the well-documented trip that the Sixers’ brass took to Los Angeles to try and convince Simmons to come back to the team included a conversation about how his role might change. And while it involved giving more responsibility to him to the point that he’d be used as the focal point of the team’s offense when Embiid rests, it didn’t change his mind about leaving.
Rivers shared how he planned to use Simmons this upcoming season anyway: Embiid and Simmons would stagger minutes more often, and when Embiid came off the floor, Simmons would play the 5, sharing the frontcourt with Tobias Harris and new addition Georges Niang. Rivers said he wanted to put Simmons in more situations that resemble Giannis Antetokounmpo’s role in Milwaukee, with four shooters surrounding him, empowering him to be a primary scoring option with the second unit. Rivers and Morey, according to sources, said that Simmons and Embiid are the best defensive duo in basketball, and with some slight tweaks, they could be even more productive on the offensive end. Simmons wasn’t enthused.AdvertisementAdvertisement
In theory, this would be the best way to use Simmons’ talents, as the team would put four guys who can space the floor around him and give him the opportunity to attack defenses and set up teammates on the perimeter. Despite that, if Simmons wants to find himself in that role, it appears his heart is set on doing the Giannis-light thing somewhere other than the City of Brotherly Love.