Sixers coach Brett Brown quashed speculation that rookie Ben Simmons might play his first game January 27th, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia’s contest against the Rockets on that date was recently added to ESPN’s national television schedule. A picture of Simmons appeared on Instagram not long after, leading many to believe it was more than a coincidence. But Brown said today that Simmons, who hasn’t played since suffering a fractured bone in his right foot in October, definitely won’t be ready by then. “I am a social hermit,” Brown said when a reporter asked about the possibility. “I have no idea what you are talking about. But I do know there is no chance that he will play then.”
There’s more news from the Atlantic Division:
- It’s still not definite that Simmons will be able to return this season, tweets Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders. An unidentified source told Scotto, “Everyone needs to hold their horses and hope he plays at all.”
- Celtics draft-and-stash prospect Ante Zizic is ready to try the NBA next season, relays Bugra Uzar of Eurohoops. The 6’11” center is playing for Darussafaka Dogus in Istanbul after being taken with the 23rd pick in the 2016 draft. Zizic is getting an education in the NBA game from former Cavaliers coach David Blatt, who now runs Darussafaka. “I want to prepare for the NBA,” Zizic said. “Because this summer I’m going to the NBA for sure. I think that the best preparation for the NBA is playing at the highest possible level. And EuroLeague provides that.”
- Signing Greivis Vasquez was the first mistake by new Nets GM Sean Marks, writes John Schuhmann of NBA.com. Brooklyn gave the 30-year-old point guard a guaranteed $4,347,826 for one season even though he wasn’t completely healed from ankle surgery. Vasquez played just three games for the Nets before being waived November 9th.