The Philadelphia 76ers are used to their first round draft picks sitting a season, maybe two, out. Ben Simmons is probably going to follow that trend after performing a surgery on his foot.
Simmons injury is a Jones fracture, the one everyone is afraid of when it comes to big men. Why? Well, it’s a tricky injury. Kevin Durant, for example, missed most of the 2014-2015 season with that kind of injury. It raises the risk of re-injury when coming back too soon. The Sixers have a track record of taking things cautiously and slowly: They sat out Nerlens Noel for one season. They kept Joel Embiid on the shelf for two. Combine that with rumors of Simmons agent not wanting his client to play at all this season since the news of the injury came out, and it’s likely Simmons rookie season will be delayed.
Maybe it’s not such a terrible thing. The Sixers won’t be that great with or without him, and it gives them time to sort out their frontcourt mess. Embiid made his first appearance in Sixers uniform in their first preseason game, delivering some rusty offense, a couple of nice post moves and a block on Jaylen Brown. There’s Dario Saric, Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor too. There’s Jerian Grant. Center and power forward, the Sixers have a lot of young talent, but not enough minutes to spread around. Simmons not playing unclogs that logjam of minutes, and maybe gives them a better view of who to keep and who to get rid of.
Maybe things change now that Sam Hinkie is no longer in charge. Bryan Colangelo wasn’t hired just for “The Process” to keep going and the Sixers to remain a team that constantly throws away the now for 3-to-5 years from now. However, by luck or by actually intending to (I go with the first one), Hinkie did do some good things in Philadelphia, and trying to push too hard on Simmons might explode in everyone’s face. There doesn’t seem to be a rush to do anything but see how Embiid does in the NBA, so there shouldn’t be a rush in bringing back Simmons to the court before it’s safe to do so.