Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo stamped a final answer on a lingering question regarding Joel Embiid on Monday.
“It’s the question of the day so let me just put it to rest: he will not play summer league basketball,” Colangelo said.
While Embiid will not play in summer league competition, he will join the team in Las Vegas. (The Sixers also play in the Utah summer league.) Embiid had been around the team this past season when not rehabbing elsewhere and has been a mainstay at pre-draft workouts this offeason. He also joined the Sixers' staff for dinner on Sunday during Brandon Ingram’s visit (see workout story).
“What he will do is join the team in Las Vegas, be with our coaches, be around that team environment again, which is very important that we start to acclimate him to being in that team environment again,” Colangelo said. “So he’ll do some controlled scrimmaging, some controlled situations, drill work with everybody in Las Vegas.”
The Sixers drafted Embiid with the third pick in 2014. He battled nagging foot injuries since then and has yet to play in an NBA game. Embiid has been working out on the court during his rehab, showing glimpses of his potential with three-point shots and dunks, but there is no definitive date set for his debut.
“He looks like he’s getting more fluidity every day in terms of things he’s doing on the court,” Colangelo said. “He’s done some things competitively with the two-on-two, three-on-three controlled situations, but again the word ‘control’ is the key there. I think everything’s got to be done within the process that’s been set forth and the timeline set forth by the doctors, and that’s what we’re adhering to very closely.”
When asked about previous speculation as to if Embiid would compete this summer, Colangelo said there wasn’t any.
“There was only just an answer to a question: ‘Is there a chance that he plays summer league basketball?’” he said. “I answered it the way I best knew how based on what the doctors had told me. I can safely say that we’re ruling it out just because we don’t think he’s at that point where he’s ready to compete.”
The Sixers have four second-round picks in tonight's NBA draft. It is unlikely they use all of them, and if they do, it’s not without trying to make moves.
The Sixers are slated to select at Nos. 36, 39, 46 and 50. The biggest hurdle: there’s not enough room on the roster to draft and keep all of those picks.
“You’re talking about limited roster spots,” president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said Monday. “When you include the No. 1 selection, it might be two or three spots that are in question. You look at pick No. 36 and say, ‘Is anyone on the board that could possibly crack the rotation?’ It’s unlikely, but if that presents an opportunity to select someone that we have some confidence in, sometimes players do slide through that first round and you get surprised.”
The team has been open about their interest in moving some of the picks for a while now. Back in May at the draft combine, Colangelo said, “It's not to say we're going to make four selections in the second round.”
The Sixers have several options with those picks, for which they have received interest. One route could be packaging the picks to move up in the draft. TNT’s David Aldridge reported the Sixers were offering picks 36 and 39 to get into the 20s (see story).
“You could potentially package them (second-round picks) and move up to have a later first-round pick that potentially is a better fit for the current fit for the current roster,” Colangelo said Monday. “Maybe a sure fit as opposed to someone that could just be a question mark at 36.”
There is a strong chance the Sixers could use the pick (or picks) for a draft-and-stash situation, similar to what happened when they acquired Dario Saric, wherein a player remains with their international team for now. Last year, the Sixers selected Furkan Korkmaz at No. 26. He played in Turkey this past season and may not join the Sixers until his existing contract is up. The Sixers spent time in Europe visiting Korkmaz and also watched prospective talent while there.
Other possibilities include trading out of this draft with those picks or packing them in a deal to move a current player.
In the case the Sixers use some or all of the picks, they have been hosting pre-draft workouts with projected second-round and undrafted players over the past few weeks at their training complex.
“What we are doing is lining up options and alternatives for those picks and for those selections,” Colangelo said. “We want to be prepared as we are on the clock. The two-minute mark moves fast and we are going to have multiple decisions to make on draft night.”
It appears the Sixers may not be done wheeling and dealing just yet.
The Sixers are dangling two of their second-round picks — Nos. 36 and 39 — to trade for a second first-round pick, according to TNT's David Aldridge.
Per Aldridge, the Sixers are looking to move into the 20s.
After officially acquiring the No. 1 overall pick in tonight's NBA draft on Monday, president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo hinted the Sixers were interested in obtaining another first-round pick.
"I think whether we are selecting No. 1 or just staying at three, there's been some talk about our interest in acquiring yet another pick," Colangelo said, "and I'm not going to give up those efforts because we have moved up to No. 1."
The Sixers have four second-rounders in tonight's draft and at least a second first-round pick in 2018 (Lakers) or 2019 (Kings) depending on which pick conveys to Boston.
On Wednesday, CSNPhilly.com's Paul Hudrick broke down five potential prospects the Sixers could target late in the first round if they were to trade for a second pick (see story).
With Aldridge's report, there's a real possibility they could get another first-rounder.