There is still no timeline for Joel Embiid’s return to the court, but the All-Star center is trending in the right direction. The Philadelphia 76ers confirmed Embiid has resumed “on-court basketball activities.”
The team also revealed that the 7-footer has been “ramping up his conditioning,” per Brian Seltzer. Embiid has been out since March 12 after suffering a scary knee injury against the Washington Wizards.
It was later diagnosed as a bone bruise and the expectation was a two to three-week absence. There have been additional reports that Embiid’s rehabbing ahead of schedule, although the Sixers have no desire to rush him back. Philadelphia needs him 100% healthy for the playoffs.
“The way I look at it, I’m coaching this team. This team is really good,” head coach Doc Rivers said prior to the trade deadline. “Obviously, getting Joel back is the most important thing. There’s no move we can make better more than is more important than getting Joel back healthy.”
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George Hill Healing From Thumb Surgery
The Sixers were active at the trade deadline and acquired sharpshooter George Hill in a three-team deal. Hill underwent surgery on his right thumb on Feb. 2 and hasn’t played since Jan. 24. Sixers president Daryl Morey called the procedure a minor one, adding that the 34-year-old guard had it done to prevent any future complications.
On Saturday, the team revealed that Hill will “resume on-court basketball activities in the coming days” but offered no set timeline for his return. Hill is an unrestricted free agent in 2022 and Morey expressed interest in signing him to an extension after the season.
“He had an issue where he chose to have surgery on it so that it’ll never be an issue again,” Morey told reporters. “Once he’s back, it’s something that will never bother him again. So we’re very optimistic about him for the future.”
Sixers Sign Paul Reed, Mason Jones
The Sixers inked big man Paul Reed to a standard NBA contract while adding rookie Mason Jones on a two-way contract. Reed has been a revelation this season after earning G League Most Valuable Player and G League Rookie of the Year honors. Reed led the G League with 12 double-doubles in 15 games while shooting 44.4% from deep. He was the 58th overall selection in the 2020 draft.
“Paul has proven himself at every level and I expect the NBA to be next,” Morey said of Reed. “The G League MVP almost always goes to veteran players with experience as a professional. For him to win in his rookie season shows the incredible NBA potential he has.”
Meanwhile, Jones was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Arkansas who was recently waived by the Houston Rockets. He averaged 5.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 11.8 minutes per game. The 22-year-old guard was college teammates with Sixers second-round pick Isaiah Joe. Jones, who was SEC Co-Player of the Year in 2020, will join the Delaware Blue Coats.