Sixers Notes: Simmons, Embiid, Okafor

Sixers swingman Ben Simmons appears ready to start training camp.

It’s been known for some time that Ben Simmons is ready to play for the Philadelphia 76ers — but how ready?

“I think he has a strong chance to be a multi-position elite defensive player,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said during a luncheon with Philadelphia reporters.

Simmons was the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, but missed last season with a bum foot.

Now, however, things are going much better. Simmons has been playing five-on-five with teammates, and “dominating the gym,” according to general manager Bryan Colangelo.

The Sixers are planning to allow the 6-foot-10 Simmons to run the offense and play some point — along, of course, with this summer’s No. 1 overall pick, Markelle Fultz.

Defensively, Simmons is expected to guard opposing power forwards.

But no matter the position, the Sixers are just happy Simmons is healthy and ready to help take this young, exciting bunch to a new level.

“I do see there’s a quiet assassin looming,” Brown said.

Here’s more out of Philadelphia:

  • Meanwhile, Sixers center Joel Embiid apparently is slowly but surely recovering from a torn meniscus that sidelined him near the end of last season. Brown and Colangelo watched Embiid work out Wednesday morning. “He will be out there for the first practice and first game, the question is how much,” Colangelo said.
  • Colangelo also addressed the Oct. 16 deadline for an Embiid contract extension. Colangelo told reporters he’s “cautiously optimistic” the sides can find common ground. ” We clearly are a better basketball team and better organization with Joel Embiid,” Colangelo said.
  • Brown also spoke highly of forwards Jahlil Okafor and Dario Saric. Still, the Sixers have a lot of big men — and according to Philadelphia Inquirer writer Keith Pompey, the plan is to “see what’s out there” in terms of interest for Okafor.