The Sixers expect to have Joel Embiid ready for Wednesday’s opener at Washington, tweets Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia. The fourth-year center, who signed a rookie-scale extension last week, sat out practice today, but coach Brett Brown told reporters he expects Embiid to practice on Monday and be ready for the first game.
Brown also said rookie point guard Markelle Fultz, the top pick in this year’s draft, will start the season as a reserve (Twitter link). Fultz was limited by knee and shoulder injuries in the preseason and didn’t see much playing time.
There’s more news out of Philadelphia:
- Converting his contract to a two-way deal was fine with Jacob Pullen, who was looking for any way to get on an NBA roster, relays Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Sixers made the move Saturday, which will keep Pullen with the Delaware 87ers for most of the season. Players on two-way contracts are limited to 45 days in the NBA and salaries that top out at about $275K. But at age 27, Pullen found that preferable to spending another season overseas. “Knowing what I know now and knowing what my dreams are, where I want to be, you have to take this,” said Pullen, who spent last year in Russia and has also played in Italy, Israel, Spain and Croatia. “I tell people all the time, there are three ways to the top — the escalator, elevator, stairs. Some people get the elevator. Some get the escalator. Some walk up all of the flights of stairs. The NBA is an important thing to me now. It’s a dream that I want to come true. So I’ll take the stairs.”
- Justin Anderson may compete with Jahlil Okafor to be the Sixers’ most improved player, Pompey writes in a separate piece. The 23-year-old swingman, who was traded to Philadelphia in February, dropped weight over the offseason and worked to improve his outside shot.
- Although Ben Simmons still has some flaws him his game, he impressed opposing coaches with his potential during preseason, Pompey adds in another story. Simmons is preparing for his official rookie season after sitting out all of last year while recovering from a broken foot. “That kid, they are not talking about him enough – the way he moves with the ball, his ability to see the floor, the way he can get places on the floor,” said Grizzlies coach David Fizdale. “I think once he gets confidence in the shot, where you really have to close out on him to the three, wow, he is a big-time talent.”