Even if the Sixers use their top pick on an elite guard, Ben Simmons will still be given an opportunity to show what he can do at point guard, Keith Pompey of Philly.com writes. After suffering a Jones fracture in his right foot, Simmons was ruled out for the duration of 2016/17. According to coach Brett Brown, the team will “immediately” give Simmons minutes at the point next season.
“I feel that the team has to try that immediately,” Brown said. “In my eyes, we are going to try that. I feel that it’s something that I doubt you say, ‘That didn’t work,’ and you just move on quickly. There has to be a body of work that you judge him on.”
More from Philly…
- For all of the impact Joel Embiid has had in his rookie season, the Sixers need to figure out if he can stay healthy for a full season, Flan Blinebury of NBA.com writes. As Blinebury details, Embiid has suffered a stress fracture in his back, a broken bone in his right foot, as well as a bone bruise and meniscus tear in his left knee within the last four years. Embiid was a force to be reckoned with in 2016/17, averaging 20.2 points with 2.5 blocks over 31 games. In summary, Blinebury offers the Sixers an ultimatum: “Before the end of next season, it will be time to decide if Embiid is a foundation to build upon or or just brilliantly brittle.”
- Shawn Long, who has recently signed a 10-day contract with the Sixers, initially thought he was being brought in for a workout. According to Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly, Long was surprised to find out he’d been called up from the Delaware 87ers. “It still hasn’t settled in yet,” Long said. “Right now [I am] a five, a stretch five. I’m still working on my shot, trying to be more consistent on the pro level. Rebounding the ball hard, that’s something I really want to focus in on … playing hard and bringing that toughness to the game.”
- Long, who has yet to make his NBA debut, averaged 20.2 points with 11.2 rebounds over 39 games in Delaware. Long’s presence is much-needed in Philly’s frontcourt, as Jahlil Okafor continues to battle right knee soreness. “I think I’ve adjusted to the physicality of the pro game. That’s something that was tough for me at first,” Long added. “It’s a big opportunity for me and I’m looking to capitalize on it.”