Philadelphia 76ers

Ben Simmons practices 5-on-0 drills for first time with Sixers

Ben Simmons practices 5-on-0 drills for first time with Sixers

CAMDEN, N.J. — The Sixers' practice court was energized on Tuesday when Ben Simmons suited up for his first five-on-none activity since injuring his foot in training camp. 

“To even see him today go through five-on-zero stuff, not a lot, not at a hundred percent, but with us in a 76ers uniform, the gym got a lift, you could feel it,” Brett Brown said.

Simmons ran the point, according to Joel Embiid. The first overall pick entered the NBA as a point-forward, and Brown has said he intends to play Simmons at the one. 

Brown described Simmons’ participation as “light script work” — going at 80 percent. It included passing, running plays and communicating. 

“Albeit small, it’s the first time he’s done that and it was great to have him,” Brown said. 

There is no timetable set for Simmons’ return. He joined the Sixers for his first road trip over their last two games in Boston and Brooklyn. 

Simmons has been going through individualized work as part of a multi-faceted rehab program. The Sixers have focused on education, health and shooting. Brown has spent time with Simmons in a classroom-style environment studying film to make sure the rookie is caught up when he makes his NBA debut.

That off-the-court preparation was apparent to the Sixers during the five-on-none work. 

“It was good having him today,” Embiid said. “I remember the first time that I had a chance to be back and script with my teammates. I think he did a good job for someone who hasn’t been around. He knew the plays, and I was happy to be on the floor with him.”

And so another box is checked off in Simmons' recovery.

“I think everybody should just feel like today in our world, and certainly in the program’s world, the city’s world, was a good day having him back," Brown said.

NBA Notes: Cavaliers trade Kyrie Irving to Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, more in blockbuster

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NBA Notes: Cavaliers trade Kyrie Irving to Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, more in blockbuster

CLEVELAND -- Kyrie Irving was tired of being teammates with LeBron James.

Now he has to figure out how to beat him.

Cleveland's All-Star guard, who asked owner Dan Gilbert to trade him earlier this summer, was dealt Tuesday night to the Boston Celtics for fellow All-Star Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets' unprotected 2018 first-round draft pick.

"It's extremely rare to trade for a 25-year-old player that's done what he's done, the offensive weapon that he is," Celtics president Danny Ainge said. "We feel like his best basketball is still ahead of him.

"We have a player that's proven to be a sure thing. We know how unpredictable the draft can be. You do pay a heavy price for a player of that age and that caliber."

Irving, whose late 3-pointer helped Cleveland win the 2016 NBA championship -- and the city's first title since 1964 -- is on his way to Boston, where he'll join a Celtics team that lost to the Cavs in last season's conference finals.

And as fate will have it, the Cavs will host the Celtics in their season opener on Oct. 17.

"Of course we know who our competition is, and we know who are biggest threats are each year," Ainge said. "But we feel like this is a trade that can make us better, and that's why we did it" (see full story).

Pacers: Poythress signed to 2-way contract
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Pacers have signed forward Alex Poythress to a two-way contract.

Poythress spent most of last season playing for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the NBA's G-League, where he averaged 18.5 points and 7.1 rebounds in 46 games.

The 6-foot-7, 238-pound former Kentucky player joined the 76ers on April 1. He averaged 10.7 points and 4.8 rebounds in six games with Philadelphia.

The Pacers signed Poythress on Tuesday.

Brett Brown Clinic open to local basketball coaches

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Brett Brown Clinic open to local basketball coaches

This week we explained how Brett Brown kept the Sixers together during a 47-199 record in his first three seasons (see story). Brown will be sharing his coaching knowledge next month at his third annual Coaches Clinic.

The free, interactive event will take place the evening of Sept. 12 at the Sixers training complex in Camden, N.J. It is open to basketball coaches of all ages from the youth, high school and college levels.

Registration information is available here.

Brown is entering his fifth season as head coach of the Sixers. He was a member of the Spurs' coaching staff for over 11 years and also coached internationally.