It's been 948 days since Joel Embiid last played a basketball game.

The date was Match 1, 2014.

In 29 minutes, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft scored 13 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and had three steals and a block.

Tonight, he'll step on the floor for the first time in his NBA career when the Sixers open the preseason against the Boston Celtics.

“He’ll do well," Sixers beat writer Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquire said. "First of all he's rusty, second of all he's a big man. (Nerlens) Noel took a year off and he was extremely rusty early on and by the end of the year he became a candidate for rookie of the year. Nerlens just missed a year, this guy, missed two. He has to pick up the game at this speed, the only key is that he has to remain healthy.”

Embiid is expected to start along-side his 2014 draft-mate Dario Saric.

Saric, who was the No. 12 overall pick, will also be making his NBA debut tonight.

With the injury to Ben Simmons, Sixers coach Brett Brown is planing on starting Saric at power forward tonight vs. Boston.  Saric should have a significant role with Simmons out indefinitely, starting tonight.

"Dario will get the bulk of it, then Jeremy Grant will get some," Pompey said about how the Sixers will fill Simmons' playing time. Dario is a great pickup for them right now being as Ben Simmons probably won't play for a long time if not at all this season, and Jeremy Grant has proved he can be a solid defender in this league and i can see him doing that.”