76ers’ Doc Rivers Called Ben Simmons About Trade Rumors, Wants to ‘Move Forward’

76ers’ Doc Rivers Called Ben Simmons About Trade Rumors, Wants to ‘Move Forward’

Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Amid trade rumors involving Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers spoke to his All-Star point guard Thursday night. 

Rivers told reporters Friday he wanted to speak with Simmons to discuss everything that has been going on. 

“I feel very good about our conversation,” he said. “Now we just move forward.”

On Thursday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne reported the Sixers “have signaled a willingness” to include Simmons in trade talks with the Houston Rockets for James Harden, but those discussions “have come nowhere close to a deal.”

Shortly after that report came out, Philadelphia president of basketball operations Daryl Morey issued a brief statement to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium: “We are not trading Ben Simmons—he is an important part of our future.”

Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon reported last week that Harden expanded his list of potential trade destinations to include the 76ers. 

It’s unclear how much interest there is on Philadelphia’s part to pursue Harden, who would likely come at a significant cost given his present value. 

Simmons is entering the first season of his five-year contract extension that was signed in July 2019. The two-time All-Star will earn $30.6 million in 2020-21, per Spotrac. He averaged 16.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 8.0 assists in 57 games and was named to the All-Defensive first team last season. 

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