A few weeks after reports surfaced that Philadelphia 76ers prized rookie Ben Simmons may be making his long-anticipated NBA debut sometime after the NBA All-Star game, it appears those plans may have changed, according to Bob Cooney of Philly.com.
Sixers coach Brett Brown recently said that in order for Simmons to be ready to make his debut he would have to play more than five 5-on-5 games. Brown was asked this week if Simmons would be playing more 5-on-5 games and had the following to say:
“I don’t think so,” Brown said. “I feel like he’s moving forward, but to say that we believe he’s going to be ready for 5-on-5 during the All-Star break would be misleading. I don’t see that.
“He is moving forward but it’s at a very slow pace, our pace. I think when we all get back and he’s around the team again, because it’s not an ideal situation to manufacture 5-on-5 during a break, then we can better craft and construct to allow the return to play to be more responsible.”
In Cooney’s article he points out that after Wednesday’s game against the Boston Celtics, the Sixers won’t play again until February 24th. Philly will have 26 remaining games, including a West Coast trip and another six-game streak away from home. The article theorizes that it would be hard for Simmons to get any practicing in when the team is on the road, lessening his chances of making his debut this season.
The Sixers are already without Joel Embiid, who has missed 11 consecutive games and 14 of the past 15 due to a bone bruise and minor meniscus tear in his left knee.
It seems as though the chances of Simmons taking the court this season for the Sixers are pretty slim.