NBA Rumors: Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid Finally Healthy Enough To Play

Philadelphia 76ers‘ fans have waited a long time for this. Joel Embiid is ready to play his first NBA game for the 76ers. The 76ers’ wait for Embiid has been two years. Embiid getting some actual NBA action is long overdue.

When the No. 3 pick of the 2014 NBA draft is not swatting a kid’s shot (courtesy of the Washington Post), Embiid is preparing to finally wreck havoc in the NBA. And as he told the Philadelphia Inquirer, he is 100 percent ready for league play.

“I feel 100 percent and ready to get started. My summer has been great. We have been working on a lot this summer, and I got a chance to play a little bit against the guys, and it has been going great.”

There will be some restrictions put in place for Embiid. The 76ers’ will want to bring him along slowly. Embiid admits that the 76ers have placed some provisions on him. Those who are concerned about what the 76ers have in mind, expect him to have to reach certain benchmarks prior to going full speed.

“Yes… I think the decision will probably be about that I haven’t played in two years. It won’t be because people are worried that I am going to reinjure myself, which I don’t think is going to happen, but it will be about the fact I haven’t played in two years and take it slow.

“I think they are going to start me slow, but I am the type of guy, I learn fast.”

Embiid says that he is a fast learner, but 76ers’ fans want to know if he can play.

Joel Embiid and Kobe Bryant
Joel Embiid and Kobe Bryant share a conversation prior to the Philadelphia 76ers' game versus the Los Angeles Lakers. [Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images]

Much of the Philadelphia 76ers’ hopes of progress rests on the shoulders of Joel Embiid and other young players. The 76ers’ front office and coaching staff have seen what he can do from the workouts and scrimmages they have put on.

The 76ers have high hopes for Embiid. If he stays free and clear from future foot injuries he has All-Star potential. Despite his listed sized of 7-2 and 250 pounds, Embiid is not being billed by Philadelphia as a typical low-post center. He reportedly has a strong face-up game, his dribbling skills were heralded during his initial draft workouts and he can truly run the floor. What the 76ers want to see is Embiid put it all together in NBA games.

A level of uncertainty hovers over the 76ers as Embiid has not even appeared in a Summer League game, let alone a preseason contest. The 76ers have a unbalanced roster as a result of this.

Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Dario Saric, Richaun Holmes and Ben Simmons makes for a crowded 76ers’ frontcourt already. That list does not include veteran Carl Landry.

Eventually, the 76ers will have to make a trade to create some ample playing time for Embiid. The deal the 76ers made for center Tibor Pleiss is not what everyone has in mind. The 76ers’ addition of Pleiss has generated a bigger logjam at center.

Chances are good that the 76ers will waive Pleiss as CSN Philly is reporting. With Pleiss all but assured to be gone, the 76ers still have to ship out one or two of their frontcourt players. What will have the 76ers wait a little longer to deal will hinge on how Joel Embiid progresses going forward. Because the 76ers intend on moving him along slowly, any possible trades will develop at the same pace.

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Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor are the two biggest trade chips the 76ers have. That said, Richaun Holmes has a reasonable salary of just over $1 million. Holmes also has some decent upside. The 76ers can parlay that into a second-round pick or a useful swingman, who has the potential to be a rotational player.

Tony Snell of the Chicago Bulls and the Sacramento Kings’ Ben McLemore fit that prototype. If the 76ers decide to employ the wait and see approach with Embiid, this is the right way to go about it.

Frontcourt logjam aside, at least Joel Embiid is ready to contribute for the Philadelphia 76ers. After two years of waiting for the center to be able to play in the NBA, the 76ers get to finally see what Embiid can do,

How do you think this will work out for Embiid and the 76ers?

[Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images]