Ben Simmons is back in Philadelphia. Simmons has yet to see his wishes granted despite requesting a trade at the end of last year’s playoff run.
It’s not that the Sixers were unwilling to move on from their 25-year-old star, but based on the offers they received for his services, Philly’s front office felt they had a better chance of holding onto him in hopes of salvaging the situation rather than trading him and settling for less than what they believe he’s worth.
In an attempt to sway the organization in a different direction, Simmons made it clear back in August that he would hold out from the 76ers when training camp arrives. With a couple of weeks worth of practice sessions in the book, Simmons stuck to his plan.
Not only has the young guard skipped every training camp session since it all started back in late September, but Simmons also missed every preseason game. His absence cost him over $1 million in fines. While Simmons is losing salary, trade talks between the Sixers and several organizations have stalled.
Therefore, the 25-year-old guard is back in town. On Monday, it was reported the Sixers star showed up at the Wells Fargo Center ready to take a COVID-19 test. On Tuesday, Simmons met with several members of the organization, including Doc Rivers, Daryl Morey, and Elton Brand.
By Wednesday, the Sixers returned to practice. Being that he was ineligible to reunite with the team just yet, Simmons only participated in a private workout on Wednesday night. Then on Thursday, the Sixers participated in practice before traveling to Detroit.
The Sixers wouldn’t rule Simmons out right away. As they left the door open for the possibility of Simmons flying out to Detroit for Friday’s preseason finale, he was listed as doubtful for Friday’s game.
However, at this point, it’s clear Simmons won’t play. According to a team official, the 76ers have ruled Simmons out as he’s reconditioning. The positive news is Simmons is considered eligible to play since he underwent the proper protocols for returning. Now, there’s still a question mark surrounding whether he will actually play for the Sixers again or not.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.