The Philadelphia 76ers are planning to play it safe with their franchise center Joel Embiid at the start of the season. Makes sense given his lengthy injury history and recent knee surgery that he is still working his way back from.
Philadelphia coach Brett Brown told reporters on Monday that he doesn't know exactly how much Embiid will play at the start of the season, but that it's probably going to be "somewhere in the teens." Via the Philadelphia Inquirer:
It was obvious that, as of Monday afternoon, the Sixers hadn't discussed a minutes restriction with their franchise center. That's when Brett Brown was asked how many minutes a game Embiid is expected to play at the start of the season.
"I don't really know if there's a solid number," the coach said after practice, adding, "If you were to choose a number, it would be somewhere like in the teens."
Understandably, the big man is not too happy. On Tuesday, Embiid told reporters his minutes restriction was, "f------ bullshit."
A few things here.
- The Sixers should have probably done a better job explaining their minutes restriction decision with Embiid. He shouldn't be learning about it from the media.
- It's completely reasonable that Embiid would feel this way. He feels healthy and wants to help his team win. No player wants to be on a minutes restriction. Still, even though he's understandably frustrated, he probably shouldn't be saying this in such a way to reporters.
- The Sixers are doing the wise thing. Embiid can be one of the best big men in the league, but only if he stays on the floor. The guy has had way too many injuries and setbacks to be reckless with him. While they should have sat him down and explained it, holding him to a minutes restriction early in the season is the best move for both Embiid and the team.