76ers

Embiid (left knee) out vs. Kings, doubtful for next 2 games; Brown says 'no red flags here'

Embiid (left knee) out vs. Kings, doubtful for next 2 games; Brown says 'no red flags here'

Updated: 7:43 p.m.

Joel Embiid was out for Monday's make-up game against the Kings, and the left knee contusion that has caused him to miss time recently will also keep him out for a pair of road games later this week.

Embiid will not travel with the Sixers to face the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday and Thursday. The team is listing him as doubtful for those games, but obviously he won't play if he doesn't travel.

"There isn't anything odd going on,” head coach Brett Brown said pregame Monday. "It's just we feel it's best for him to get him where he needs to be and keep him behind. The resources that we have here and the rest that he can get while he's here, nobody needs to feel like there's a conspiracy theory here. There isn't. It's just we feel like we can do the best job for Joel in this environment."

After that Texas two-step, the Sixers travel to Miami to face the Heat on Saturday. Embiid's status for that game is to be determined.

"This is just part of this year, managing our guys, there's no red flags here," Brown said. "It's just us going overboard making sure we're doing the right thing with what we're all learning to be a very important person in our program."

Embiid returned last Friday for a nationally televised game against the Rockets after he missed the previous three contests. The big man dropped 32 points, seven rebounds and four assists in a 123-118 loss.

"It wasn't, 'Let's force-feed him into a nationally televised game,'" Brown said. "Just because it was a nationally televised game, it did not influence our desire to cram him back into a game. We were playing well, he felt well, the whole stable of doctors that we had around him gave him a thumbs up."

Jahlil Okafor started for the Sixers against the Kings, with Nerlens Noel backing him up and Richaun Holmes sitting. In 22 minutes, Okafor had 15 points on 5-for-11 shooting, with four rebounds and two assists. 

NBA free agency rumors: Don’t count out Sixers? Examining Al Horford’s possible fit

NBA free agency rumors: Don’t count out Sixers? Examining Al Horford’s possible fit

Al Horford reportedly opting out of his deal and leaving the Celtics is outstanding news for the Sixers.

But what if it meant that Horford would be on his way to Philadelphia?

With Horford set to hit the open market, one GM told NBC Sports national NBA insider Tom Haberstroh, a guest on 97.5 the Fanatic’s morning show, “not to count out” the Sixers as a landing spot.

While the stats don’t bear it out, Horford has been an integral part to what Boston has done over the years. He’s versatile and tough defensively. He’s an excellent passer for a big and has expanded his game out to the three-point line. He’s likely the only player in the entire league capable of guarding both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Speaking of Embiid, Horford is a rare player in that he could possibly play with and also backup the All-Star center.

But would he fit here and does it make sense with how it would affect the whole roster? Horford is 33 so he doesn’t necessarily fit from that perspective. He is reportedly looking for a four-year deal so whatever team signs him could be paying him around $20 million at age 37. While he theoretically could play with Embiid, that’s not a sure thing.

If you make this move, you’re also not re-signing Tobias Harris. Sixers fans really soured on Harris after a poor performance in Game 4 against the Raptors. He became a scapegoat of sorts when the team’s problems were much bigger. Harris is 26, a borderline All-Star and has improved every season. It seems like people forget that Harris had an excellent regular season and was playing in the postseason for just the second time in his career. He was also excellent in the Brooklyn series, playing off way more effective versions Embiid and Simmons.

So what it boils down to is this: Sign Horford or re-sign Harris. Harris is younger, ascending and already has a relationship with players inside the locker room. Horford is an attractive option if Harris chooses to sign elsewhere in hopes of having a bigger offensive role, but the Sixers’ priority should still be to #RunItBack with Harris and Jimmy Butler.

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2019 NBA Draft Preview Show: How to watch on MyTeams app

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

2019 NBA Draft Preview Show: How to watch on MyTeams app

With the draft a few hours away, our basketball analysts all around the country are breaking down the key storylines, expectations and predictions for the team they cover.

You can watch the 2019 NBA Draft Preview Show live on the MyTeams app at 3 p.m. ET. You can also stream the show right here on NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com by clicking here

Download the MyTeams app here

Here are the essentials:

Date: Thursday, June 20
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Where: MyTeams App and NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com

Who:
Ian Begley — Knicks
Sherrod Blakely — Celtics
James Ham — Kings
Paul Hudrick — Sixers
Dwight Jaynes — Blazers
Chris Miller — Wizards
Monte Poole — Warriors
Mark Schanowski — Bulls
Chris Forsberg — Celtics
Jamie Hudson — Blazers
Serena Winters — Sixers

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.

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