Ben Simmons cost himself almost $1 million by skipping out on Sixers training camp, a bold and unprecedented move for any player.
But with the season set to begin soon, and Simmons facing the loss of even more money, it seems he's ready to wave the white flag.
You see, Simmons has already reported to the team, but that's hardly the same as suiting up for the squad on game day. For many, even some within the organization, there remained some lingering doubt that Ben would actually play meaningful games in a Sixers jersey.
By holding out, he was making emphasizing his desire for a trade. And now that he's back, his search for the exit remains ongoing.
"Why return now? Simmons is described as wanting to prove a point, and knowing he had done so with something that almost never happens in the NBA: sitting out training camp, costing himself nearly $1 million in lost salary and fines, and delivering an unmistakable message that he wanted a trade out of Philadelphia. The Sixers scoured the league but never came close to finding a deal that returned them the kind of elite player they'd want in exchange for Simmons, sources said. The trade market can shift quickly once the regular season gets underway—and more players become eligible to be moved on Dec. 15—but the Sixers have no traction on a trade now, sources said."
Still, with no trades yet on the horizon, Ben seems to be facing reality and the belief that he has played his last game with the franchise is slowly dwindling.
There is no firm timetable yet for Simmons getting back on the floor with Philadelphia but the story details a growing belief that he has not played his last game as a Sixer.
After such an intense stand-off, it's a wild turn of events for Ben to be back in the same situation he swore he'd never return to.
Nevertheless, the Sixers are pushing on anyway, and only time will tell how well Simmons endures these next few weeks.