Doc Rivers ‘assuming’ Ben Simmons will play for 76ers but isn’t certain

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star guard Ben Simmons went from reportedly staying away from the team indefinitely to force a trade to returning to Philadelphia earlier this week ahead of Friday’s preseason finale at the Detroit Pistons. 

According to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), Sixers coach Doc Rivers told reporters Wednesday he doesn’t “know” how Simmons’ trade request will “work out” and added he’s “assuming” the 25-year-old will play for the club, either on Friday or when the regular season starts next week. 

“I can’t get in anyone’s head,” Rivers explained. 

Rivers was later hesitant to commit to Simmons making the trip to Detroit.

“Whether we play him or not, 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 other subject. What we see this week is how we determine everything going forward.”

Simmons reported to the 76ers shortly after the club placed $8.25 million owed to him on Oct. 1 in an escrow account and began to subtract fines for missing practices and games from that account. 

Meanwhile, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer wrote that Simmons may remain attached to the 76ers until at least Dec. 15, when “a far larger pool of players also become trade-eligible” because of an NBA rule regarding recently signed talents. 

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