Ben Simmons takes required physical for Sixers, playing status still unknown

Ben Simmons is taking the proper steps to return to the court.

But will that happen as a member of the 76ers?

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Sources said Simmons took the required physical on Tuesday for the Sixers. He also met with the team brass at the Sixers’ practice facility.

This comes one day after the three-time All-Star point guard took a COVID-19 test in the Wells Fargo Center parking lot upon his return to Philadelphia after spending the summer in the Los Angeles area. Due to being in the NBA’s COVID-19 protocol, a league source said Simmons cannot participate in any team activities until he has five straight days of negative tests. As a result, he’s unable to take part in any team activities until Friday.

That’s when the Sixers play the Pistons in the preseason finale in Detroit.

Simmons’ playing status for this season is to be determined.

The big question is: Where do both sides go from here?

Will Simmons put on a Sixers uniform and play for the team after sources said he wouldn’t? Or will he be on the squad in name only until he’s traded? Do his required COVID test, team physical and reporting to the Sixers merely speed up the trade process?

The Sixers’ public stance is that they want him to return.

Their position that they’re not going to trade Simmons just to make a trade has been consistent. The Sixers’ best time to unload Simmons would be after Dec. 15, the first day that this summer’s newly signed free agents can be traded. That time frame provides a bigger pool of potential trade partners.

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Simmons told the Sixers during an August meeting in Los Angeles that he wanted to be traded and wanted to traded. Sources later said he would sit out the entire season if it came to that.

Now, he’s back with the organization, taking steps to play for some team this season.

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