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The day started out good for the Sixers on Friday. Before the team participated in their morning shootaround hours before their home opener against the Brooklyn Nets, disgruntled guard Ben Simmons reunited with his teammates after serving a one-game suspension on Wednesday night.

Simmons, who was described as a distraction by his head coach Doc Rivers on Tuesday, hasn't been a willing participant in Sixers practice this week. As expected, the three-time All-Star hasn't bought into this year's Sixers as he desires a fresh start.

But the Sixers have proven that they aren't willing to trade Simmons unless they are getting a "difference-maker" in return. At this time, Simmons isn't generating that kind of return, leaving the veteran stuck with a difficult choice to make. He either has to hold out and lose more money -- or find a way to make it work with the Sixers.

It's evident that Simmons is attempting to work on the latter option. On Friday, he took a step in the right direction as he addressed his teammates and coaches directly in a team-wide meeting. While Doc Rivers and other members of the roster didn't dive into specifics on what was said, reports indicated that Simmons made it clear he isn't mentally ready to return to the court just yet.

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So with that, Simmons was expectedly ruled out for the Sixers' home opener against the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night. Leading up to the matchup, Doc Rivers discussed the feeling around the team following the meeting.

"It was a productive day, and it was a start," Rivers explained. "That's the only way you can get going. You've got to start. And today was a start." For a couple of weeks now, Rivers remained confident in the idea that Simmons would be embraced by his teammates if he chooses to buy back in after a rocky past few months. On Friday, he once again reiterated his belief.

"You know, up and down throughout I kept saying to you guys, things do change," he continued. "That still doesn't mean that it's gonna work out perfect, or it could. But I've always believed that. I've never wavered from that. I've said that one hundred times, and I still stick with it."

Now that Rivers and the Sixers heard from Simmons, is the three-time All-Star close to making his official return? It's still too early to guess. "I don't know yet," Rivers said when asked whether the Sixers will be without Simmons long-term or not. "I really don't. We're gonna make sure Ben's with the right people and see where it goes, but I don't know the answer to those questions... We don't have a day set [for his return]. We don't have a day set. Tomorrow we'll do this and do this, and there are steps that we have to take for sure."

The Sixers are set to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night. Judging based on Rivers' comments, it seems highly unlikely Simmons returns to the court this early on in the season as he's working on getting mentally prepared for his comeback.

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.