PHILADELPHIA — Is Doc Rivers operating under the assumption that Ben Simmons is back with the 76ers to play for them?
“Who knows?” the Sixers coach said. “I can’t get in anyone’s head.”
But Rivers met with the disgruntled point guard Tuesday for the first time since Simmons informed the Sixers brass in August that he wanted to be traded and wouldn’t report to training camp.
Rivers was asked if Simmons gave him any indication Tuesday that he came back to play.
“Yeah, he was great, I mean he was good,” Rivers said. “But we will see. Like again, I’m not going to get into ‘He said,’ or whatever. We’ll all find that out. ... We’ll figure it out. We really will.”
Simmons, who had requested a trade, ended a two-week holdout on Monday by taking a mandatory COVID-19 test in the Wells Fargo Center parking lot. The next day he took his required team physical. The three-time All-Star point guard also met with the Sixers brass at the team practice facility.
Simmons cannot participate in any team activities until he has five straight days of negative tests, according to the NBA’s COVID-19 protocol. As a result, he could be cleared to be around his teammates on Friday.
In the meantime, Simmons is limited to individual workouts at the practice facility. Rivers noted that he was scheduled for one Wednesday evening.
The Sixers (2-1) will travel to Detroit following Thursday’s practice for Friday night’s preseason finale against the Pistons. Rivers did not rule out Simmons meeting the team in Detroit on Friday.
“Whether we play him or not, you know that’s going to depend on what we see this week,” Rivers said. “He’s coming from behind, because he hasn’t been in camp, obviously. Having said that, do you rush him and put him on the floor? That’s a whole ‘nother subject. ... What we see this week will determine everything moving forward.”