Sixers Notes: Simmons, Embiid, Maxey, Offseason Moves

Before Ben Simmons faced the wrath of Philadelphia fans Tuesday night, he spoke to the media about his relationship with some of his former Sixers teammates and admitted that he hasn’t been in contact with Joel Embiid, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Simmons and Embiid were an uneasy pairing as the Sixers’ two stars during their time together, and they’ve remained distant since Simmons was dealt to the Nets.

“I mean, you’re not cool with everybody,” Simmons said. “You are not texting everybody. I mean, there’s certain people that you don’t talk to all the time. I have friends that I don’t talk to all the time, but we’re still cool. But that’s how life went.”

Pompey notes that the two stars’ games never fit together well and their personalities prevented them from connecting off the court. People close to Simmons thought he was more effective in games that Embiid didn’t play, according to Pompey, and Simmons believed Embiid was taking shots at him through his public comments during last year’s holdout.

Simmons took the high road on Tuesday, telling reporters that he enjoyed his time playing alongside Embiid.

“Obviously, it didn’t work out,” he said. “But you know, that’s life. Not everything works out in your favor. So I wish him the best. Obviously, not a championship … but the best.”

There’s more on the Sixers:

  • Simmons believes Philadelphia has a future star in third-year guard Tyrese Maxey, who is currently sidelined with a fracture in his left foot, Pompey adds. “He’s incredible,” Simmons said. “He’s growing. He’s playing with great confidence. For me, when I see him, I love seeing him with the ball. I think he should definitely handle the ball a lot more than what he is, but he’s growing. He’s young. And I can’t wait to see in the future.”
  • When considering Simmons’ fallout with the franchise, Sixers management doesn’t get enough criticism for trying to trade him one month into his new contract, Marc Stein argues in his latest Substack piece. Simmons’ five-year extension had just taken effect during the 2020/21 season when president of basketball operations Daryl Morey offered him to the Rockets as the centerpiece in a potential James Harden deal.
  • With Maxey, Harden and Embiid all currently injured, the Sixers are in danger of sliding down the Eastern Conference standings until they can get healthy, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN. The team already went through the adversity of a slow start, with Doc Rivers briefly becoming the betting favorite as the first coach to fired. Windhorst notes that part of the problem is limited production from offseason additions, as P.J. Tucker is averaging just 4.0 points per game and Danuel House is contributing 4.5 PPG.
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