Ben Simmons has told the Philadelphia 76ers that he is not mentally ready to play to his expectations now, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Sources told ESPN that Simmons met with coach Doc Rivers and team medical professionals Friday to inform them of his status. Simmons also spoke with teammates.
Simmons has to be evaluated and the next steps will be based on the determination of medical professionals, sources said.
His sentiment about his status was something his agent, Rich Paul, has previously told Sixers officials, sources told Wojnarowski.
A three-time All-Star who requested a trade four months ago, Simmons has left little mystery to Sixers officials and the rest of the NBA about his desire to never play another game for the franchise. Philadelphia has wanted him in the lineup and playing as it searches for a trade.
In a Philadelphia radio interview with 97.5 The Fanatic on Thursday, 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey reiterated that the team wouldn’t be rushed into trading Simmons.
“People should buckle in. This is going to take a long time,” Morey said.
Simmons described discomfort in his back to Sixers staff Thursday morning and underwent brief treatment before the medical staff cleared him to work out — only to leave without doing any on-court activity, sources said.
The 76ers have fined Simmons nearly $2 million for his absence from four preseason games ($360,000 each), his suspension from Wednesday’s season opener for conduct detrimental to the team, and missed practices, on-court workouts and meetings, sources said.
Philadelphia hosts the Brooklyn Nets on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)