The Sixers are set to take on the New Orleans Pelicans for the start of the 2021-2022 regular season on Wednesday night. For the most part, the 76ers are healthy and will have most of their players available, including Tobias Harris and Matisse Thybulle, who missed a chunk of the preseason due to injuries.
Unfortunately, the Sixers will be down two guards, though. As Shake Milton rolled his ankle nearly two weeks ago, the veteran guard has been dealing with a sprained ankle and is "nowhere near" game ready, according to Sixers head coach Doc Rivers.
Therefore, Milton is out for Wednesday's opener. As for the disgruntled star Ben Simmons, he's been suspended for one game following Tuesday's dramatic events during the Sixers' final practice of the offseason.
Months ago, Simmons made it clear he no longer wanted to play for the 76ers as his agent Rich Paul notified the front office that he wanted a trade. The Sixers agreed to explore the possibility of moving the star guard but never found a deal worth making.
When the preseason started, Simmons was listed on the Sixers' roster. However, he didn't participate in any games and missed every training camp practice. Simmons returned to the Sixers on Sunday and appeared on the practice court on Monday and Tuesday before getting sent home prematurely.
At this point, Simmons remains a member of the Sixers' roster, but Philly's content team didn't include the star guard in their hype video ahead of the opener.
Simmons' absence in the video shouldn't come as a surprise. Over the last few days, the star guard has made it difficult for the 76ers to keep him engaged with his teammates, as he's reportedly isolated himself when present at the practice facility.
Also, the All-Star's multi-week absence probably plays a major role in him being left out of the video as well. As the close-up shots of players were more than likely taken during media day a few weeks back, Simmons was not present. Plus, the game highlights come from the preseason. Therefore, there isn't any footage of Simmons.
Perhaps, Simmons changes his mind about the situation and eventually re-joins the Sixers with an open mind. In that case, the door is open for his return, according to Doc Rivers. For the time being, though, Simmons' plans remain a mystery.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.