One of televisions longest-running and most successful reality programs, "The NBA," has really outdone itself with this week's show.
The Nets aren't going to let Kyrie Irving play at all until he's fully vaccinated. And Ben Simmons surprised the 76ers with his early return for a late arrival at training camp. It's only Tuesday!
The Irving story is the more interesting of the two, but the Simmons saga is the one that is most relevant to the Wolves (though Minnesota does face Brooklyn in two days in the final preseason tune-up).
What, if anything, does Simmons returning to Philadelphia mean to his trade prospects — a query that involves the Wolves, who have pursued him for months and seemingly don't intend to stop even now that Gersson Rosas is gone.
Well, here are a few things I'm thinking about:
*It probably means a trade isn't imminent. If a deal was on the table that the 76ers liked, there would be no need for the sides to try to repair their relationship.
*It almost certainly means that Simmons was tired of losing money. He was getting fined for camp days missed and preseason games missed. The tally was close to reaching seven-figures, per ESPN. I don't care who you are, you miss $1 million.
*It might mean he won't get traded, period. Maybe he reconciles with teammates, the 76ers get off to a hot start and the sides realize that they're better off together than they would be apart. I don't think that's the case, but anything is possible.
*It probably doesn't mean he's going to go full Jimmy Butler and be disruptive, challenging teammates in a profanity-laced scrimmage. That just doesn't seem to be Simmons' personality.
*It quite possibly means that a deal will still get done, but that it needs more time. More players are eligible to be dealt on Dec. 15, which could open the pool for the sort of three-way deal the Wolves would likely need to make to nab Simmons.
That said, there seemed like a 2-3 week window where a team like the Wolves might be able to get a deal done. That window is over. It coincided with volatility in the Wolves' front office and a 3-0 preseason start.
But the window is never shut. This is the NBA, and drama is always around the corner.