The Sixers want to evaluate how Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid play together on the court, Jessica Camerato of Comcast Sportsnet relays. Philadelphia started Jahlil Okafor next to Embiid over the last six games, but the team went 1-5 in those contests, which may lead to the duo seeing less action together. “I think over the course of the year, you’re going to see different things,” coach Brett Brown said. “To do it [with Embiid and Okafor] maybe as much as I have done it, I don’t believe that will be the case. But there will be times you’re going to see them paired up just through situations or foul trouble or injury.”
Here’s more from Philadelphia:
- Brown added that his intention is to “force feed” the Noel-Embiid pairing, as Derek Bodner of Philadelphia Magazine passes along (Twitter link). Ersan Ilyasova is starting next to Embiid in tonight’s against the Wolves, but the two centers will see court-time together as well.
- Kurt Helin of NBC Sports believes the Sixers are giving Noel additional playing time so they can showcase him to potential trade partners. Finding a team that is willing to give up major value for the center may be a difficult feat, as Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors detailed in his Trade Candidate piece.
- There remains no timetable for Ben Simmons‘ return to the floor, but the 20-year-old will be more involved going forward, as Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Inquirer relays. “You are going to start seeing him integrated more and more as this New Year is now upon us,” Brown said. “It’s still, obviously, not to the point where he’s on the floor practicing. But nobody should be worried that his foot is not healing.”