"We can move on" - Joel Embiid reacts to Ben Simmons' surprise return to Philadelphia

The Philadelphia 76ers resident All-Stars, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid in an NBA game.
The Philadelphia 76ers resident All-Stars, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid in an NBA game.
Michael Macasero

After weeks of endless speculation and back-and-forth jabs between Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, things may be coming to an end, at least publicly. Recent news of Simmons getting tested in Philadelphia for COVID-19 as per the NBA mandate, significantly greases the wheel for a potential reunion between the two All-Stars of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Philly’s starting center seems ready to move on and continue working to get ready for the fast-approaching 2021-22 NBA regular season. In an interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia, Joel Embiid had this to say:

“I’ve always said that I believe that it gives us the best chance to win. We are a better team with him (Simmons) than without. You know, that’s for sure. I’m happy that things have resolved, that we can move on and try to be a better team.”
Doc Rivers and Joel Embiid react to Ben Simmons' return to Philadelphia.

Just weeks earlier, the Philadelphia 76ers and Simmons were to all intents and purposes on the point of no return. Simmons had even declared his unwillingness to play again for the 76ers. However, President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey would not let go of the disgruntled player without a king’s ransom.

On top of Ben Simmons’ official request to be traded, he also asserted that playing with Joel Embiid is not going to be good for his career moving forward. Embiid responded in kind, emphasizing that trades and roster movements were made to accommodate Simmons.

With such a loud background of noise, accusations and uncertainty, will the Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons tandem eventually bring the Philadelphia 76ers back to their status as legitimate title contenders?

The answer will be as tantalizing as anything the NBA has seen in years. The situation will only start to become clearer once the regular season unfolds.

Will the Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons saga have a fairy tale ending?

Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid secure the basketball in a game against the Boston Celtics.
Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid secure the basketball in a game against the Boston Celtics.

The Philadelphia 76ers will certainly hope so. Ben Simmons’ contract runs for another four years to a total of $147 million. At his best, he is undoubtedly a top-tier talent who can help the team become championship hopefuls. If Simmons develops a decent jump shot, the 76ers’ ceiling and floor are remarkably high.

However, that jump shot or lack thereof is the crux of the whole story. The past playoffs have already proven that because Simmons is a poor shooter, the whole game plan for Philly changes.

The Philadelphia 76ers have been unable to get past the elite teams in the East partly because of Simmons' inability to shoot. More importantly, that lack of shooting touch has eroded Simmons’ confidence, so much so that he couldn’t even go up for a wide-open dunk in a Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks in the last postseason.

Ben Simmons in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Hawks:Game 1: 2/2 FGGame 2: 0/0 FGGame 3: 1/1 FGGame 4: 0/0 FG Game 5: 0/0 FGGame 6: 0/0 FG Game 7: 0/0 FG Just three shots attempted in each fourth quarter of the whole series... 😳

Ben Simmons' potential return to the Philadelphia 76ers could also be the beginning of the end for the Embiid-Simmons duo. A healthy and performing Simmons will have opposing teams’ executives sniffing around with added interest and better offers to get his services.

The NBA season can’t begin soon enough for the Philadelphia 76ers, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

Also Read: What is Joel’s Current Contract

Edited by Anantaajith Ra


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