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.”