Ben Simmons requested a trade from the Sixers just a few days after the team dropped its Game 7 matchup against the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the playoffs.
By the time August rolled around, the 76ers had yet to find a deal worth making. Knowing their All-Star guard wanted out, key members of the Sixers' organization flew out to Los Angeles to meet with Simmons in an attempt to salvage the situation.
Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned. Simmons not only wanted out still -- but he told Daryl Morey, Doc Rivers, Josh Harris, and Elton Brand that he planned to skip training camp, and the preseason is he's not moved by then.
Sure enough, the time came for Ben Simmons to put his money where his mouth is and skip out on the start of preparing for the 2021-2022 season. Simmons missed all of training camp and all four preseason games.
The $8-plus million the Sixers owed him in early October was shifted into an escrow account, and over $1 million of that money has been deducted and is not refundable. As the star guard began bleeding money, he decided to return to Philadelphia and joined the 76ers for practice on Sunday.
Over the course of two days, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers and other members of the roster claimed that Simmons' presence hadn't changed a thing, and it's been business as usual in Camden. However, that might've been a fib.
On Tuesday, Simmons refused to be a participant in a defensive drill. Therefore, Doc Rivers tossed him out of practice and cited the star guard as a "distraction" to the team following Tuesday's practice session.
Due to Simmons' unwillingness to participate, he was suspended for the Sixers' season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night. Everything that has transpired over the last few weeks just feels like a play in Simmons' master plan to finally force the 76ers' hand to trade him away.
Is it working? Apparently not. Not too long after the Sixers concluded practice and got ready to board a flight to New Orleans, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Sixers remain committed to holding onto Ben Simmons as long as they haven't received a trade offer they are truly interested in exploring.
"[The] Sixers' approach on a trade has remained steadfast," tweeted Wojnarowski. "They won't move Simmons for role players -- only a player who'll help keep them a championship contender. That hasn't changed. For now, no one should expect a speedy resolution on Simmons' future in Philadelphia."
Another day, another unsuccessful attempt to get a fresh start elsewhere for Ben Simmons. The three-time All-Star won't be with the team on Wednesday night as they play the Pelicans. Will he be around on Thursday when the Sixers return to Philly? Doc Rivers left the door open -- but he can't guarantee Simmons will be back in the fold.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.