Embiid: 76ers are built around Simmons

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Ben Simmons might have expressed that he was done playing with Joel Embiid - but the Philadelphia 76ers big man has refused to express the same sentiment at the team's training camp.

In fact, Embiid, without directly calling out his teammate, seemed to suggest on Thursday that the Australian star Simmons take a harder look at himself.

There's been a week's worth of back-and-forth, with Simmons reportedly no longer wanting to play for the 76ers and Embiid saying he was "disappointed" in Simmons' desire to move on in a trade.

Yet with Simmons still not having reported to training camp, it was Embiid who expressed more exasperation on Thursday.

"Our teams have always been built around his needs, so it was kind of surprising to see what was said," Embiid said of Simmons' reported declaration that their partnership has run its course.

"Even going back to the reason we signed Al (Horford and) we got rid of Jimmy (Butler), which I still think was a mistake," Embiid said.

"But (Simmons) needed the ball in his hands and that's the decision they made. But, like I said, it is surprising. But I'm really focused on the guys that are here."

Simmons' inability - or unwillingness - to take shots proved costly during last season's playoff series with the Atlanta Hawks.

He also drew criticism for his performance at the foul line, making just 34.2 per cent of his attempts (25 of 73) in 12 playoff games after shooting 61.3 per cent during the regular season.

Yet Embiid and head coach Doc Rivers have said the 76ers are a better team with Simmons on the court.

Simmons, though, appears headed for a fresh start, if Philadelphia are unable to resolve the current rift and a trade partner can be found.

"The situation is weird, disappointing, borderline kind of disrespectful to all the guys that are out here fighting for their lives," said Embiid, a four-time All-Star who has averaged 24.8 points and 11.3 rebounds over his first five NBA seasons.

"Some guys rely on the team to be successful, to stay in the league and make money somehow. Because, if you're on a winning team, you're always going to have a spot in the league, just because you're on a winning team and you contributed."

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