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.

Report: Sixers interested in reunion with Andre Iguodala

Report: Sixers interested in reunion with Andre Iguodala

Fresh off his latest NBA Finals victory, two-time champ Andre Iguodala could end up back in Philly.

The Sixers are one of seven teams interested in prying the 2015 NBA Finals MVP away from the Warriors, according to an ESPN report.

Iguodala averaged 7.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 26.3 minutes a game for the reigning champs. He scored 20 points in the series clincher in Game 5. 

Since joining Golden State, Iguodala has taken a lesser role, unlike his days with the Sixers. Back in February, Iguodala had some glowing things to say about one of the Sixers' franchise cornerstones, Joel Embiid. 

"I'm a big fan of his," Iguodala said following a Warriors' 119-108 win over the Sixers. "I think he has a crazy upside. I don't even think people realize how good he really is."

Next season, the Sixers will add 2016 No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons and 2017 No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz to that mix. With the young foundation in place and the money the Sixers could throw at him, Iguodala could consider coming back to the place where his NBA career started.

Iguodala could offer the Sixers two valuable things: defense and veteran leadership. With guard Jerryd Bayless being the only player on the current roster with five years of NBA experience, the Sixers could use a player with Iguodala's resume.

Iguodala, 33, has now played in 109 career postseason games. He's also been durable, having played at least 62 games in each of his 13 NBA seasons. 

"As long as they keep having good intentions," Iguodala said when asked if he thought the Sixers were on the right track. "As long as [Embiid] continues to improve and his confidence goes higher and higher — his potential is amazing — and they get the right guys around him, and they've already started that, so sky's the limit."

Iguodala was originally drafted ninth overall by the Sixers back in 2004 out of Arizona. He averaged 15.3 points in 615 games and made one All-Star appearance in his eight seasons with the Sixers.

Robert Covington finishes 4th in Defensive Player of the Year voting

Robert Covington finishes 4th in Defensive Player of the Year voting

Draymond Green. Rudy Gobert. Kawhi Leonard.

Robert Covington.

Covingon placed fourth in the voting for NBA Defensive Player of the Year, though he wasn't even close to the top three.

Green, who won the award Monday night, received 73 of 100 first-place votes and had 434 voting points.

Gobert was next with 16 first-place votes and 269 points, followed by Leonard with 11 first-place votes and 182 points.

Covington was the only other player in the NBA to receive both a second- and third-place vote, giving him a total of four voting points. That was one more than LeBron James, Hassan Whiteside and Andre Roberson. 

Both writers who voted for Covington are international: Antoni Daimel of Moviestar+ in Spain and Flavio Tranquillo of Sky Italia. European hoops heads must love them some RoCo.

After a slow start, Covington had a breakout 2016-17 season, offensive and defensively. His reputation has grown substantially over the last year and he's now considered one of the better three-and-D players in the NBA and a solid fit alongside the Sixers' young nucleus.