Philadelphia 76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.
Barring a recovery setback, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance at being on course to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.
76ers coach Brett Brown squashed speculation about Ben Simmons making his debut against the Houston Rockets on Jan. 27. The rumor started when ESPN announced late Tuesday that it was dropping the Jan. 27 Miami Heat-Chicago Bulls game to pick up the Sixers’ matchup. Shortly afterward, a picture of Simmons was posted on Instagram. Then suddenly, social media went abuzz with speculation. “There is no chance,” Brown said Wednesday. “I am a social hermit. I have no idea what you are talking about. But I do know there is no chance that he will play then.”
The Sixers wrapped up their morning shootaround at their hotel gym, and then the real action started. Ben Simmons, on his first road trip with the team since fracturing his foot on the last day of training camp, ran some sprints, took some jumpers, defended one-on-one for a bit and worked up a sweat with the Sixers staff. His lack of conditioning was evident, but it was a great sign for the team that the top overall pick was on the floor getting his shirt wet with perspiration. "It’s good, that’s his first trip so it’s good for him to feel included with us," said Joel Embiid of Simmons. "It’s good to have him and hopefully in the future he gets healthy."
Simmons posted an Instagram photo from that night with Embiid, Nik Stauskas, T.J. McConnell and Nerlens Noel. The rookie had remained in Philadelphia while the team was on the Sixers' nine-day road trip and linked up with them when they returned from Denver. Embiid said the gathering came to be from texting one another. “That’s something I feel like Ben is going to appreciate a lot because I was in that type of situation,” Embiid said. “When I was by myself I felt kind of left alone and when I had guys around me it just made me feel better.”
“That’s fantastic,” Brown said after taking a look at the post. “I really like stuff like that. You know how important is it to all of us to grow a continuity, a family. When you have people in and out, in and out, and people’s future are uncertain, words end up cheap. “To grow that type of thing off the floor is the holy grail. You combine that work they’re doing on the floor with stuff where they interact and coexist, it’s not the be all or end all, but it certainly helps. That stuff is very pleasing to me.”
Ben Simmons made another step toward his return — in sneakers. The first overall pick took free throws for the first time without a boot on Tuesday. Simmons has not played this season after suffering a Jones fracture in his right foot on the final day of training camp. There still is no official timetable for his NBA debut. “He walked out on the court in sneakers and he shot free throws,” Brett Brown said after practice. “That is significant to me. Then he walked over to my office and sat down looking like he was healthy. There was no boot, there was nothing earlier that he was wheeling.”
Keith Pompey: Brett Brown on Ben Simmons' rehab. “We are going to be extremely careful. Everybody needs to hear that, and you know that. We are going to be extremely careful with how his progression into the team goes."
76ers coach Brett Brown has always had every intention to make Ben Simmons a point guard. His latest declaration of that came Wednesday. And the transformation will come sooner than the Sixers originally scheduled. “When he’s ready to go to the court, my intention is to give him the ball and let him be the point guard,” Brown said. “That’s the plan. That doesn’t just happen. It takes a little bit of time to introduce him.”
Ben Simmons took a spot in the Philadelphia 76ers locker room instead of the starting lineup on opening night. Simmons, the 2016 No. 1 overall draft pick, hoped to return at some point this season from a broken bone in his right foot and said he was never involved in any discussion about sitting out the season. "I'll come back when I'm ready," Simmons said. Simmons was expected to become the franchise player for a forlorn Sixers team coming off a 10-72 season. Simmons instead attended the season opener on Wednesday in street clothes and was set to watch the game against Oklahoma City from the locker room. Simmons was injured last month during a training camp scrimmage. The Australian forward played at LSU last season. "As soon as I get out there, I'd love to play," he said.
The 2016-17 NBA season is underway, and Ben Simmons will play in it, Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil said on TCN's Breakfast on Broad. Simmons, the first overall pick in the 2016 draft, suffered an acute Jones fracture in his right foot during the final scrimmage of training camp. He underwent surgery on Oct. 4 and recently had the sutures removed. “Injuries happen, as we saw with Simmons, who fortunately will be back this season, which is terrific news,” O’Neil said Wednesday morning.
There had been speculation as to whether Simmons' agent, Rich Paul, would let him play this season. O’Neil shrugged off that chatter. “No, it’s not true,” O’Neil said. “Yeah, he’ll be back.”
“It’s not doom and gloom,” Brett Brown told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Ben (Simmons) is coming back in January. We are still trying to find information on Jerryd [Bayless]. Jahlil [Okafor] is still trying to touch the court in his first preseason game.” Simmons had surgery to repair the fracture on October 4th. January 3rd would be 13 weeks post-surgery, which is close to the 10-12 week timeline orthopedic surgeon Daniel Cuttica explained as a typical recovery timeline for Simmons’ injury.
Keith Pompey: #Sixers expect Ben Simmons back in 'January' philly.com/philly/blogs/s… via @phillysport
Jeff Goodman: Philly GM Bryan Colangelo is in attendance here at UMass for the Sixers exhibition game against Boston after spending the morning to support rookie Ben Simmons in New York before and after his foot surgery. Colangelo said Simmons was in good spirits after the surgery.
The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that forward Ben Simmons underwent successful surgery to repair an acute Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot. Simmons suffered the injury when he rolled his ankle after landing on the foot of another player during a 76ers team scrimmage on September 30, 2016.
Simmons' rehabilitation will fall under the supervision of Sixers Director of Performance Research and Development Dr. David T. Martin. "Our sports performance and medical staff was debriefed by Dr. O'Malley following the procedure, and we were encouraged by the positive feedback," Martin said. "Moving forward, a comprehensive return to court program will be implemented for Ben, and we will closely monitor his progress throughout the rehabilitation process." Additional information regarding Simmons’ recovery and return to play timetable will be provided as available and when appropriate.
Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News on 97.5 The Fanatic: I just got off the phone with somebody who I really trust in the NBA, and he’s like there’s no way his agent is going to let him play this year. That’s an injury that you don’t mess around with, and he thinks he’s going to keep him off his feet all year.
Brian Seltzer: Joel Embiid told Ben Simmons to keep his head up, be patient, and do all the right things in rehab. Feels Dario Saric will be good fit.
Tom Moore: Bryan Colangelo: 'I feel badly for Ben that he has to start his career this way.' Calls injury 'acute.' 'This is something we want to get right.
Tom Moore: #NBA source: #Sixers 'not commenting further at this time' about Simmons beyond Friday night release.
Jeff Goodman: Simmons likely out until December or maybe even January, source told ESPN. Team expected to be cautious with the No. 1 pick.
Philadelphia 76ers prized rookie Ben Simmons is scheduled to undergo surgery next week on the broken bone he suffered Friday in his right foot, according to league sources. It remains unknown specifically how long the No. 1 overall pick will be sidelined, but sources told ESPN on Saturday that the Sixers and doctors involved believe Simmons suffered an acute injury -- caused by landing on another player's foot -- and not a stress reaction.
Two sources with knowledge of doctor examinations of Simmons said Saturday that the injury is an acute fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone caused when he landed on the foot of teammate Shawn Long during a Friday scrimmage at Stockton University in New Jersey. The Sixers, wracked by injuries to several top draftees in recent years, were initially hopeful Simmons merely rolled his ankle.
Marc Stein: Ben Simmons update: Sixers and doctors involved believe rookie suffered an "acute injury" unrelated to weight and plan for surgery next week
Bob Cooney: Two sources confirmed that Simmons the fracture and that Simmons will be evaluated further. Team will post announcement shortly
Adrian Wojnarowski: As @Bob Cooney reports, Sixers No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons has suffered fractured foot. Source says: "Fractured metacarpal."
May 27, 2023 | 8:06 pm EDT Update
Bobby Manning: Malcolm Brogdon was sitting in his locker in street clothes around the time the #Celtics announced him as out. He normally warms up around this time. Between missing 2nd half in G5, sitting on the side at shootaround & not progressing too far pregame, seems like arm is that bad..
Tim Reynolds: Matthew Tkachuk, who went to school with Jayson Tatum, on who he’s rooting for tonight: “I’m rooting for my two favorite players, Jimmy Butler and Tatum. I hope they both go off tonight. … But for the whole Florida vibe, I hope this building is electric all night.”
May 27, 2023 | 7:35 pm EDT Update
Jared Weiss: Joe Mazzulla on whether Malcolm Brogdon will play tonight with his forearm soreness: “He’s gonna warm up, do his shooting time and see how he feels from there.”
Wes Goldberg: Shaquille O’Neal and Stan Van Gundy cutting it up before the game. pic.twitter.com/ZCwcP1PCvA
May 27, 2023 | 7:02 pm EDT Update
Anthony Chiang: Gabe Vincent (sprained ankle) will warm up to see if he can play, Erik Spoelstra says.
Will Guillory: Still no determination on Gabe Vincent’s status tonight, per Erik Spoelstra. Said Vincent will go thru his pregame warmup than they’ll decide. Joked that he assumes someone will tweet it before he even knows.