'A lot of interest': Staggering new twist in Ben Simmons furore

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Ben Simmons, pictured here in action for the Philadelphia 76ers against the Atlanta Hawks.
Ben Simmons in action for the Philadelphia 76ers against the Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Philadelphia fans and teammates might not want him, but a new report suggests up to 12 teams would be interested in trading for Ben Simmons.

Simmons' days at the 76ers appear over, with many calling for the Aussie star to be traded after his disastrous display in the Playoffs.

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Simmons attempted just one shot in the fourth quarter in the final six games of the Eastern Conference playoffs - a total of 43 minutes played.

He passed up a certain game-tying lay-up late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks - the final straw for fans and NBA pundits alike.

Coach Doc Rivers has since softened his stance on the Australian's future at the 76ers but initially hesitating to back Simmons when asked post-game if he could win a championship with him at point guard.

The concerning admission led to increased speculation that the 76ers will now try to move Simmons.

And according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, there is massive interest from rival teams.

“In talking to executives around the league, there’s a lot of interest in Ben Simmons,” he reported on Thursday.

“If he was made available on the market today, there would be maybe up to a dozen teams would make offers.”

Ben Simmons, pictured here in action during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
Ben Simmons in action during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Playoffs. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Doc Rivers softens his stance on Ben Simmons

Rivers has since backtracked and says he's committed to fixing the All-Star's offensive struggles.

"I'm very bullish on Ben still," he said 24 hours later.

"Sometimes you have to go through stuff to see it and be honest with it.

"There's areas that he can fix quickly in my opinion and get better, that can take him to another level.

"After being here for a year, I really do believe we've identified what and how, and now we have to do the do part.

"It's not going to be an easy job. But it's definitely a job that Ben can do."

Teammate Joel Embiid was also critical of Simmons' passive play immediately post-game, the conversation quickly turning to how the pair can return on the same court next season.

The 25-year-old Simmons has $140.4 million remaining over the final four years of his existing contract, leaving the 76ers with a tough sell ahead of them if they wish to pursue a trade.

"The first thing I'm going to do is clear my mind and get my mental right," Simmons said.

"You got to be mentally tough. You can't take games for granted. Especially in the play-offs. Every game matters. Every possession matters."

with agencies

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