Joel Embiid Still not Cleared for 5-on-5 Drills
The Sixers are still not sure of what to make of Joel Embiid's progress after suffering a torn meniscus in January.
In fact, head coach Brett Brown and the team again said that Embiid is not yet cleared for 5-on-5 drills, which is extremely concerning considering Sixers training camp gets underway in less than a week.
While there is no question that Embiid deserves to be paid, there are still questions on whether he will stay healthy enough to be offered the big bucks once that time becomes closer to make more of a decision.
Obviously, his health is what will determine whether the Sixers will ultimately pay Embiid to stay a member of the team. And playing only 31 games in three seasons raises a ton of red flag. But the Sixers remain "cautiously optimistic" according to Luke Adams' article on HoopsRumors.com.
If the Sixers could be fully confident in Embiid’s health going forward, the club likely wouldn’t hesitate to offer a maximum salary extension, but the 23-year-old’s ability to stay on the floor remains a question mark. Head coach Brett Brown indicated today that Embiid hasn’t played 5-on-5 ball yet, and he isn’t sure what to expect from the fourth-year center in training camp next week (Twitter link via Bodner).
While Embiid hasn’t yet been cleared to participate in all basketball activities for training camp, he also hasn’t suffered any setbacks, Colangelo stressed today. The Sixers are taking an “ultra-conservative” approach with their potential franchise center, and will have a better idea next week of what he’ll be able to do in camp.
As of right now, with no five on five practice this summer, and training camp only a week away, I'm not all certain that Embiid will be doing a whole lot until the Sixers play the Wizards on October 18 in DC for Opening Night.
It really all seems that the decision to play Embiid in a game will come down to the last possible second on making that decision.
The overall feeling I'm getting right now is less excitement now than before, and way more concern.
Every ounce of hope and success that the Sixers get at this point, is dependent on the health of Joel Embiid. That's an awful amount of pressure to put on a 23 year-old.
Then again, we saw what he can do.
Josh Liddick is Sixers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoshLiddickTalk.