Austin Rivers Doesn't Think Ben Simmons Plays Again for 76ers amid Trade Rumors

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 13, 2022

Denver Nuggets guard Austin Rivers dribbles during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Denver Nuggets guard Austin Rivers doesn't believe Ben Simmons will ever don a Philadelphia 76ers uniform again.

In an interview with TMZ Sports on Wednesday, Rivers gave his thoughts on the Simmons-Sixers saga:

When asked if he sees Simmons playing for the 76ers this season, Rivers said: "No man, probably not. I don't think so. If he hasn't suited up by now, then I don't think so."

Rivers is uniquely qualified to speak on the subject given that his father, Doc Rivers, is the Sixers head coach.

Simmons has not appeared in a game for the 76ers this season after requesting a trade, but the Sixers have yet to find a suitable trade partner or a package they believe is worthy of the three-time All-Star and reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year runner-up.

Rivers expressed his belief that the 76ers have done all they could to appease Simmons and smooth out the situation, saying: "S--t, they tried, bro. Look how long it's been. I think they tried to keep him. He wants to go somewhere else, obviously."

The Sixers were the top seed in the Eastern Conference last season with Simmons as one of their key players along with Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris.

Philly is still a playoff team without Simmons, but it has dropped to fifth place in the East this season with a 23-17 mark.

While it doesn't look like anything can save the relationship between Simmons and the Sixers now, Rivers wants Simmons to have success in the future, saying: "I just want the young man to be happy. He's talented. He's a great player."

Unless they plan to wait until the offseason, the 76ers have until the Feb. 10 trade deadline to move on from Simmons this season.