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Report: Ben Simmons would ‘welcome’ chance to play for Gregg Popovich if Spurs can acquire him

Ben Simmons Philadelphia 76ers
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons still hasn’t played for the team during the 2021-22 regular season.

The three-time All-Star would reportedly welcome the opportunity to play for San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.

“The Spurs also know that Popovich’s presence still resonates with many players more than anything else San Antonio has to offer as a destination,” wrote Marc Stein in an article published to his Substack. “Example: I’ve heard that Ben Simmons would welcome the opportunity to play for Popovich if the Spurs found a way to acquire him. San Antonio’s efforts to crash the trade hunt for Simmons have been well-chronicled, but Philadelphia remains intent on holding out for Portland’s Damian Lillard or another proven All-Star in a Simmons swap. While the Spurs clearly don’t have one, it’s nonetheless tantalizing to picture Simmons landing in the Alamo City so Popovich and Chip Engelland, San Antonio’s renowned shooting coach, can lead the cause to rehabilitate the wayward Simmons’ game.”

Simmons, 25, and the 76ers have had a messy relationship over the past few months, but they haven’t been able to strike a divorce.

While the 76ers have reportedly been involved in trade discussions, they haven’t found the perfect trade offer for the former No. 1 overall pick. The team reportedly wants a ton for the star.

Of course, Simmons has portrayed superstar pedigree throughout his career. He has career averages of 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game.

As for Popovich, the distinguished coach is allegedly nearing the end of his illustrious career. He would need a player or two of Simmons’ caliber to launch the mediocre Spurs back into contention.

The Spurs hold an 8-15 record this season.

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