Ben Simmons, who has passed health and safety protocols and is eligible to join the Philadelphia 76ers, did not play in the final preseason game Friday night.
The team called Simmons’ absence a “reconditioning” and did not travel with the team to Detroit for the game against the Pistons. The Sixers open the regular season against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.
Simmons was one of several Sixers players who were out of Friday’s 112-108 loss to the Pistons, along with Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, Danny Green, Matisse Thybulle and Shake Milton.
Simmons missed training camp and the preseason thus far in the wake of his trade demand that upset some teammates, raised fan ire and left many puzzled as to why he wants to come off the No. 1 seed in the league. last season in the Eastern Conference.
Simmons, 25, a three-time All-Star, met with Sixers coach Doc Rivers on Tuesday.
Simmons has four years and $ 147 million remaining on his max contract, though the 76ers put $ 8.25 million on deposit due to the absence of the point guard, and penalties for missing games and practices could be subtracted from that amount.
Sixers president Daryl Morey and Rivers have been publicly optimistic since the start of training camp that Simmons would play for the Sixers again.
Simmons has averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists during four seasons with the Sixers.
Associated Press contributed to this story.