Philadelphia 76ers’ head coach Brett Brown said Thursday that he expects center Joel Embiid to be ready to go once training camp gets underway later this month. The news was first reported by Brian Seltzer of Sixers.com.
Embiid hasn’t played a minute in the NBA since the 76ers made him the No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft. A slew of foot problems have kept him on the shelf, but it appears that he is finally healthy enough to contribute.
Brown added that while the team will have to monitor Embiid’s status and be careful with him, he is expected to play in Philadelphia’s preseason-opener against the Boston Celtics on October 4.
There is no telling how a healthy Embiid will fit into the 76ers’ rotation, but Brown did say that he hopes that the young center can develop into the backbone of his team’s defense. The 22-year-old was a two-way monster during his lone collegiate season at Kansas, where he averaged 11.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in 28 games.
The 76ers suddenly find themselves with a bit of a logjam in the frontcourt. In addition to Embiid, Brown will also have to try to divide minutes between Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel, Dario Saric and the 2016 top overall draft choice, Ben Simmons. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical has reported throughout the summer that Philadelphia is looking to trade either Okafor or Noel as a result.
The 76ers went just 10-72 last season, good for the second-worst 82-game record in the history of the NBA. In addition to Simmons, Saric and a healthy Embiid, Philadelphia also added veteran free agents Jerryd Bayless and Gerald Henderson this summer.