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Ben Simmons requested a trade following the Sixers' Game 7 loss against the Atlanta Hawks back in the summertime. When the organization failed to find a trade worth making, they attempted to salvage the situation and convince Simmons to return to the team during a meeting in August.

Once again, Simmons made it clear that he no longer wanted to play for the 76ers despite having several years left on his contract. As expected, Simmons held out from training camp. Three preseason games came and went without the three-time All-Star showing face around the team.

However, he did return to Philadelphia earlier this week. As the Sixers faced the Brooklyn Nets at home, Simmons returned to market and requested a COVID-19 test, proving he's going to take the proper steps to re-join the team.

When the Sixers returned to practice on Wednesday, Doc Rivers addressed the situation by confirming he's spoken to Simmons for the first time since that August meeting. While they've had "several meetings," Rivers made it clear that while he wants Simmons back on the floor for the Sixers, he wasn't sure if that was going to happen.

"I can't get in anyone's head," Rivers said on Wednesday in regards to Simmons' real intentions. "[The meeting] was great, but we'll see. Like again, I'm not gonna get into what he said or whatever. We'll all find that out. It's just like when I'm asked about lineups. You'll figure it out -- you always will."

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A lengthy piece by ESPN's Ramona Shelburne recently detailed the Simmons saga leading up to this point. As Shelburne reiterated the Sixers' interest in having Simmons play for them once again, it seems Simmons still isn't on the same page. Does that mean Doc Rivers is ready to give up? Not exactly.

"Is this a perfect situation? No, and I get that," said Rivers on Friday, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. "But I'm never going to give up on a player that's on the roster. I just can't do that. It doesn't matter what the player is saying. He's on the roster, and my job is to get every player that's on the team to believe that this team, that is together right now, can win it. That doesn't matter if a player wants to be here or not, I have to get that across."

Although Simmons was deemed eligible to play in the Sixers' preseason finale on Friday night against the Detroit Pistons, he did not travel with the team. Therefore, he was ruled out hours before tip-off. 

Simmons could reunite with his teammates for practice on Sunday, but it's not clear if he will do so at this point. Ultimately, the ball is in his court to return or not -- but if he decides he wants to give Philadelphia another shot -- Rivers and the rest of the roster seem more than open to welcoming him back.

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