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Ben Simmons returned to Sixers practice for the first time since last season on Sunday afternoon. Although the star guard was around the team for three straight practice sessions, he was reportedly just going through the motions and having minimal contact -- if any contact at all -- with his 76ers teammates.

Eventually, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers deemed him as a distraction. Therefore, Simmons was told to leave practice on Tuesday and was hit with a one-game suspension ahead of the Sixers' season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.

By Friday, Simmons was re-connected with his teammates once again. As the Sixers had a morning shootaround scheduled ahead of the team's Friday night matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, the three-time All-Star addressed his teammates, coaches, and officials in a meeting. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, 76ers star center Joel Embiid spoke up and questioned why Simmons wanted to be traded. 

"When Joel Embiid, in the meeting I'm told, asked Ben Simmons about why he wants a trade, Simmons responded that mentally he is just not feeling like himself right now and needs to take some time away. I'm told that was met with no response back."

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Reports in the past have hinted at several reasons why Simmons wanted a fresh start. Among those reasons was that Simmons reportedly believed that the duo of Embiid and himself simply didn't work on the court. As expected, Embiid disagreed with that notion when asked about it at the start of training camp.

While Simmons' rumored response to Embiid's question doesn't indicate he has a problem directly with the 76ers' organization or anybody in it -- it seems Simmons believes that a fresh start could be good for him mentally. However, if the three-time All-Star doesn't get one -- it seems he's becoming more open to returning and playing for the 76ers once again later on down the road.

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