Ben Simmons did not take part in a scheduled individual workout at the Philadelphia 76ers’ practice facility Thursday and was briefly treated for back tightness, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
It is unclear whether Simmons, who was suspended by the 76ers for Wednesday’s season-opening 117-97 win over the New Orleans Pelicans for conduct detrimental to the team, will play Friday against the Brooklyn Nets (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Simmons is expected to come early to the 76ers’ shootaround Friday morning to discuss his playing status with organizational leadership, sources told Wojnarowski. The 76ers are hopeful that Simmons will participate in the shootaround.
But the 76ers appear set for a drawn-out process to resolve Simmons’ situation. During an interview on 97.5 The Fanatic on Thursday, Sixers president Daryl Morey said “this could take four years” and that “people should buckle in.”
Simmons has four years and $147 million left on the max contract that he signed in the 2019 offseason.
Sources told ESPN that Simmons arrived at and left the team’s practice facility Thursday without participating in the planned workout. He described the back tightness to Sixers staff members but was cleared by the team’s medical staff to participate in the workout, sources told Wojnarowski.
The Sixers had hoped to see Simmons in the workout Thursday and have him go through shootaround Friday before their game against Brooklyn, according to sources.
The 76ers did not practice Thursday, and Simmons has yet to fully engage in a team practice since reporting last week. He was thrown out of practice Tuesday after he declined several times to sub in for a drill, sources told Wojnarowski.
Amid his trade request, Simmons held out of the first two weeks of training camp. The 76ers have fined Simmons more than $1.4 million for his absence from four preseason games ($360,000 each) and levied numerous fines for missed practices, on-court workouts and meetings, sources told Wojnarowski. He lost roughly $227,000 from Wednesday’s suspension.