Remember Joel Embiid minute watch last season?
Sixers fans — the hardcore ones at least — learned to memorize exactly when the star center was expected to step on and off the floor as part of his frustrating 25-minutes per game restriction last season.
Though his status for 2017-18 is not completely set in stone, as his health after a season-ending knee surgery back in February has led the Sixers brass to admit that they are "not able to say what they'll be able to get out of Joel Embiid next week." GM Bryan Colangelo added that he is n't ready for five-on-five action yet.
However, Ben Simmons, another Sixer who missed significant time last year — actually all the time last year — will be a dynamo on the floor. And totally unencumbered.
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"I don't foresee any restrictions with Ben," the GM said at the Sixers' media luncheon Wednesday.
Head coach Brett Brown also gave some insight into how Simmons will be used his rookie year, confiming that Simmons will 100 percent be the team's point guard.
"I'm committed to him, even in the half court," Brown said, saying he is locked into Simmons at the point. Last year's No. 1 overall pick will, however, defend against the opposing team's power forward. "I think right off the bat he has the chance to be an elite defensive player."
As for Embiid's future restrictions, the Sixers admit they may have some but they will be less than last year's minutes formula.
There was a little more news on the Embiid front as well, if you can consider bland statements about potential future decisions as news. Will he be offered and accept a contract extension?
"It is certainly something that is being considered and discussed," Colangelo said. "I'm cautiously optimistic."
The Sixers open training camp, officially, next week in Camden with practices running through Thursday. The season tips off in October.