76ers

Sixers rookies starting to see some light in injury rehab

Sixers rookies starting to see some light in injury rehab

CAMDEN, N.J. — The sting the Sixers took from that dreaded rookie curse earlier in the summer is starting to wear off a little bit.

Zhaire Smith underwent a follow-up on his broken left foot on Thursday and has been cleared to begin full weight bearing. Dr. Martin O’Malley, the associate attending orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City who performed the procedure, was pleased with Smith’s healing and will reevaluate him in approximately four weeks.

“Just doing more work, focusing on the left side, doing balances,” Smith said Friday of the next step in his rehab during Sixers media day. “Probably get on the court and just shoot a little bit without getting on my toes.”

Smith, who was the No. 16 pick in the 2018 NBA draft and acquired by the Sixers, suffered a Jones fracture in his left foot at Tim Grgurich's basketball camp in Las Vegas on Aug. 6 and had surgery on Aug. 9. 

“I went up for a layup and just got kicked,” Smith said. “I don’t remember landing wrong but I probably landed wrong. I just felt it and I couldn’t walk. Now I’m just rehabbing, listening to what they have for me and just getting better every day.”

While there was no timetable provided for Smith’s return, one report stated the team expects him back around Christmas.

Smith wasn’t the lone Sixers rookie to get a bit of good injury news. Shake Milton, who was recovering from a stress fracture in his back, was cleared for limited contact and is progressing to full clearance without limitations.

“Basically it’s been a long journey, but it feels good to just be at a point where I can get out there and start doing some 5-on-5 stuff,” second-round selection Milton said. “I’ll be full-go for training camp, but they’ll be pulling in and out and kind of just monitoring the load that I’m taking.”

Landry Shamet, the No. 26 overall pick in June by the Sixers, has also been fully cleared from a right ankle sprain he suffered during the team’s first summer league game.

More on the Sixers

Knicks targeting Elton Brand as GM? Sixers 'very happy' with him, per team source

usa_elton_brand_sixers.jpg
USA Today Images

Knicks targeting Elton Brand as GM? Sixers 'very happy' with him, per team source

The Knicks could be looking within the Sixers' organization during their GM search.

Team president Leon Rose has reportedly “targeted” Sixers GM Elton Brand for the same role with the Knicks, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. The report went on to say that Rose would wait to see if Brand, 41, would be let go after this year’s playoffs.

It’s a little hard to imagine the Sixers parting ways with Brand despite the team underperforming this season. Though his big moves of stealing Al Horford away from the Celtics, acquiring Josh Richardson in a sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler and signing Tobias Harris to a near-max deal haven’t panned out, the organization seems to be high on Brand.

A team source on Wednesday confirmed Brand is under contract beyond this season and said the organization is very happy with his work since being named GM in 2018. The source cited Brand's leadership and strong working relationships with players, agents, and executives around the league.

That's in line with what managing partner Josh Harris told NBC Sports Philadelphia back in October.

“When the Bryan Colangelo situation occurred, we went through a really long search to try to figure out who was the right person for the job of general manager,” Harris said. “Obviously, [Brand] hadn't been in the front office very long, but all of his strength as a leader and his intelligence and his ability to communicate and his history with the game and with our team and with our city. All those things really were very large in the decision. …

“… and he's increasingly putting his insignia, his imprint on the team, and it's really great. I mean, today's NBA is a player's league. He was an All-Star player not that long ago. He's a really unique person. So I'm really happy that we're working together.”

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Sixers

Which era of Sixers basketball would make the best documentary?

Which era of Sixers basketball would make the best documentary?

The Sixers are a franchise rich in history and, let’s face it, rich in drama.

With ESPN moving up the release of The Last Dance, a documentary about the dominance of Michael Jordan and the Bulls in their last Finals run, it sparked an interesting debate on the Sixers Talk podcast.

Which era of Sixers basketball would you most like to see a documentary on?

Co-hosts Danny Pommells and Paul Hudrick both made the case for Dr. J, Moses Malone and the teams of 1980’s … but for very different reasons.

Don’t get me wrong,” Hudrick said, “some of The Process stuff would be great to get some behind-the-scenes nuggets of what was going on there with some of the decisions that were made and getting some answers to the questions that we’ve all had. …

“[In a documentary on the 1980’s team] we can all go back and watch and see, ‘Oh, Dr. J, he won a championship.’ But to get that context of there were people who were doubting him and then he proved them all wrong. It’s little stuff like that you don’t know about until you go and watch [a documentary] like that.

Pommells agreed with wanting to see something on that era, but wasn’t nearly as interested in reliving The Process years.

To hell with The Process. I ain’t trying to watch nothing on that. I lived through it, I experienced all these little idiosyncrasies. I think once the Bryan Colangelo thing happened, that completely let me know that I was over it, past it, finished with it, ready to move on — because I’m just exasperated at this point. …

“It would be a black eye on the Philadelphia sports landscape.

Do you agree with Pommells? Would you rather see something on the Allen Iverson-led teams? Or way back in the Wilt Chamberlain-Hal Greer days?

For more on the debate, check out the full Sixers Talk podcast below.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Sixers