The Ben Simmons-Philadelphia 76ers trade situation has been one of the major talking points ahead of the start of the 2021-22 NBA season. At one point, multiple reports suggested that there was little to no communication between the franchise and the Australian international in the summer.
However, the disgruntled star recently reported back to the training facility, taking a complete U-turn.
His Philadelphia 76ers teammate Furkan Korkmaz recently spoke to the media and offered his take on Ben Simmons' return:
“He just showed up. It was not like something special, which we expected from him or which he expected us to say something... all professionals, you know?"
Ben Simmons did not feature in any of the Philadelphia 76ers' preseason games but returned to practice on Sunday. However, there is still doubt over his availability for the start of the NBA season, because he is not in the right physical or mental frame at this moment.
The Philadelphia 76ers will need Ben Simmons to return to his best if they are to challenge for a championship
The Philadelphia 76ers had a 2021 postseason to forget, as the franchise ended up bowing out in the second round to an underdog Atlanta Hawks team. The 76ers showed little character and personality during the seven-game series against inferior opposition, and Ben Simmons' poor form was one of the major reasons why Doc Rivers' side crashed out of the playoffs.
Simmons shot poorly throughout the series and even failed to connect on his attempts from the charity stripe more often than not. He shot 34% from the free-throw in the playoffs and struggled on the offensive side of the ball pretty much throughout the 76ers' postseason campaign.
Ben Simmons is the Philadelphia 76ers' second-best player and Joel Embiid's partner-in-crime but has not lived up to expectations yet. He was billed as LeBron James' second coming, but a lackluster effort on improving his shooting and erratic point guard play had led to him getting considerable flak in recent years.
Ben Simmons remains an extremely dominant force on defense, but a franchise player like him needs to be a solid 2-way star to justify his contract and reputation.
Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers will have to forget about their turbulent past and work on forging a new, mutually healthy relationship. And if Simmons realizes his true potential, the Philadelphia 76ers will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
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