Although head coach Brett Brown indicated earlier this week that Ben Simmons‘ recovery is progressing at a deliberately slow and careful pace, the Sixers still expect to get their No. 1 pick on the court at some point this season.
“Our plan is to still see him on the court, playing games,” Brown told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman on Wednesday. “We just don’t know when. … I fully expect him to play this season. He thinks that, and he’s motivated to play.”
Of course, as Goodman notes, even though Simmons and Brown are on board with the 20-year-old making his NBA debut this season, that decision will ultimately be made by Sixers management. Despite some promising stretches this season, the Sixers aren’t currently close to a playoff spot, with a 21-35 record placing them 13th in the East. As such, it makes sense for the franchise to be careful with Simmons and Joel Embiid in the season’s final two months.
Let’s round up a few more Sixers notes…
- Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link) has been told that the Sixers remain active in trade talks on “almost anyone not named Embiid or Simmons.”
- Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo hasn’t looked all that good lately, having been evasive about the nature of Embiid’s knee injury and then not completing a Jahlil Okafor deal as the team held him out of the lineup for two games due to swirling trade rumors. In separate pieces, John Smallwood of The Philadelphia Daily News and John Gonzalez of The Ringer examine Colangelo’s recent performance.
- January was the Sixers’ best month in three years, but February has been dominated by off-court headlines so far, and Philadelphia fans deserve better, writes Mike Kern of The Philadelphia Daily News.