It looks like Ben Simmons might not be traded this summer because Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers wants him back for the 2021-22 season.
“Ben is great,” Rivers said. TMZ Sports in an interview published Saturday. “I want it back. It’s fantastic. It will be great. I don’t think it needs a lot of fixing. It will be great for us. It will be great.”
Simmons failed to make an impact in the final three games of the Philadelphia series against the Atlanta Hawks, scoring just 19 points overall, sparking business speculation. After the Sixers were eliminated, Rivers raised his eyebrows with his answer to a question about whether Simmons could be the point guard on a championship team.
“I don’t know the answer to that right now,” he said. told reporters.
However, Rivers expressed confidence the next day that the Sixers could fix Simmons’ scoring problems.
The 24-year-old has been one of the most productive two-way players in the NBA since he was selected first overall in 2016. He averaged 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists during the regular season. On top of that, he was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team for the second consecutive season.
However, some of Simmons’ biggest problems lie at the free throw line, where he is a 59.7% shooter in his career. He has also tried just 34 3-pointers in four seasons, making five of those shots.
While Rivers hopes Simmons will stay, the Sixers’ front office could feel differently. According to Bleacher Report’s Jason Dumas, Philadelphia has “submitted offers” for Simmons and recently turned down an offer from the Indiana Pacers that included Malcolm Brogdon and a first-round pick.
If the Sixers end up retaining Simmons, the franchise will likely build its roster around him and Joel Embiid, looking for improvements in other areas. For now, this will be a story to watch out for this summer.