Ben Simmons' desire to move on from the Philadelphia 76ers has been very public. After he requested a trade following last year's disappointing playoff run, Simmons made it apparent that he intended to hold out from the team in August.
The disgruntled guard stuck to his guns and missed all of training camp and the preseason. While he returned to the Sixers' practice facility and participated in team-wide drills, solo workouts, and film sessions over the last month, his status with the organization continues to be rocky, at best.
At this point, it's become clear that Simmons isn't mentally ready to return to the court and play. As he's been seeing mental health professionals, the All-Star and his representatives have reportedly been doing the minimum to keep the Sixers in the loop regarding his possible return in the future.
Last month, it seemed things were beginning to trend in the right direction. And Sixers players and coaches made it seem as if Simmons could potentially suit up and play in a 76ers uniform again. However, Sam Amick of The Athletic has left nothing but doubt in that scenario in his latest piece regarding the status of Simmons and the Sixers.
"Is he any closer to playing for the Sixers?"
"In two words, hell no."
"Yet when I checked in to update the state of affairs five days later, the message a source with knowledge of Simmons’ status shared was significantly less hopeful. As it stands, I don’t see a return happening anytime soon — if ever. What’s more, a source with knowledge of the talks between the Sixers and Simmons’ representatives indicated he’s reiterated his strong desire to be traded in recent days."
Simmons still wants to be traded, which doesn't come as a shock. The chances of Simmons returning to the Sixers and buying back into the organization were always slim to none.
However, the idea that Simmons could return to the court with the Sixers to boost his trade value so he can ultimately get what he wants always seemed like the logical move for the three-time All-Star since he hasn't drawn the significant offers that Daryl Morey desires.
But it seems Simmons is more committed to the idea of never playing for the 76ers again rather than getting a fresh start somewhere else as quickly as possible. While things can change over time -- it seems Simmons has kept the same mindset throughout the whole saga. He's finished with the Sixers and would like the feeling to be mutual at this point.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.