Ben Simmons changes his tune in 76ers standoff as team scorched over betrayal ATLANTA, GEORGIA – JUNE 18: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers calls out a play against the Atlanta Hawks during the first half of game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at State Farm Arena on June 18, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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Ben Simmons has reportedly had a change of heart in his dealings with Philadelphia as the 76ers were slammed for “unconscionable” conduct.

Ben Simmons has reportedly met with a medical specialist recommended by the 76ers about his mental health issues after initially rejecting offers to speak with professionals at his NBA franchise.

According to a report on the weekend, the Sixers had become increasingly frustrated with Simmons’ lack of communication around his mental health issues, which are the reason he has yet to step foot on the court this season after his trade demands fell flat.

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The Australian basketballer was working with mental health professionals provided by the NBA Players’ Association rather than Philadelphia and the franchise was reportedly fed-up about not being kept in the loop when it came to their point guard’s progress.

However, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports on Tuesday Simmons’ stance has changed and he has discussed his mental health concerns with a medical specialist recommended by Philadelphia.

Simmons and the Sixers couldn’t work out a suitable arrangement for the 25-year-old to be traded in the off-season so he remained on Philly’s books, despite skipping the start of pre-season camp in an effort to force the team’s hand.

He eventually returned but his attitude was questioned as he was kicked out of practice and the 76ers were fining him for every game missed as he refused to suit up. That was until Simmons said he was suffering from mental health issues, at which point the Sixers offered him support and reinstated his salary.

That changed again when Simmons was reportedly fined $487,000 for missing Thursday’s game against the Detroit Pistons — but the former No. 1 draft pick’s agreement to consult a specialist with links to the 76ers may mean he saves himself more financial pain in future.

The development comes as Boston was linked to a possible play for Simmons, though the Celtics were reportedly told they’d need to give up Jaylen Brown — which is highly unlikely.

‘Unconscionable’: Sixers scorched over Simmons betrayal

The bad blood between Simmons and 76ers stems from last season’s playoffs loss to Atlanta, where he shouldered much of the blame for Philly’s disappointing exit. Teammate Joel Embiid publicly outed Simmons’ reluctance to shoot as the reason for the team’s defeat and coach Doc Rivers said he didn’t know if Simmons could lead Philly to a championship as point guard.

Veteran NBA journalist Brian Windhorst was scathing of Philadelphia’s treatment of Simmons, saying while he understood Rivers’ comments were made in the aftermath of a demoralising loss, the way the Sixers have continued to shun the Aussie reflect poorly on the organisation.

“One of the things I learnt when I first got into this league was no matter what was going on with a player, no matter what he was doing on the court or what he was doing in the locker room or the practice court, you (as a team) didn’t devalue him. You did not talk bad about your player,” Windhorst told Sportsnet’s Eric Smith and Paul Jones.

“Those in the media could talk bad about your player, maybe you talk bad about your player to your coaching staff, maybe the media would catch wind if you didn’t like a player … but you did not devalue your player publicly.

“I’m not so sure I’ve ever seen a player more devalued by his own team than Ben Simmons and it goes on to this day.

“What they’ve done since then has been unconscionable, the way they’ve devalued him. And I just don’t understand why a guy like (76ers basketball boss) Daryl Morey, who’s one of the smartest guys in the league, would condone the over and over and over devaluing of this guy.

“It’s not admirable (Simmons trying to get out of his contract early), we can all see that. But the stuff that they (the 76ers) have done to him and now basically questioning whether or not he has mental health problems — that’s essentially what they’re saying, they’re basically calling him a faker — I just can’t believe they’ve behaved this way.

“Forget about what it is on an individual, personal basis — it’s just bad business.”

The 76ers need Simmons to maintain a high trade value if they want to receive a genuine star in a future swap with another team but if rival franchises don’t think he’s worth it, then Philadelphia may struggle to agree to any deal put on the table.

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