When Brett Brown first became the Philadelphia 76ers’ coach in 2013, he knew that he was going to be part of something long term.
A “heartbroken” Ben Simmons will sit out his rookie NBA season after his surgically-repaired right foot failed to heal as quickly as expected.
The Victorian, who was No.1 in the NBA draft last year, fractured the fifth metatarsal bone during the Philadelphia 76ers’ final training camp scrimmage in October and hasn’t played a game for the team.
The Victorian was Philadelphia’s first No.1 overall pick since Allen Iverson in 1996 and all set to play point-forward.
He underwent a scan on Thursday where the full extent of the problem was revealed.
“Unfortunately, Ben is going to sit out. That’s the bad news,” said 76ers president Bryan Colangelo.
“The good news is one day he’ll put on a uniform.
“It’s not the way you want to start your career, but it happens. We’re not excited about the news today. Ben is heartbroken.
“Nothing has changed with the plan and the vision.
“The plan is to build and sustain a successful basketball program.”
Colangelo also said star centre Joel Embiid will miss at least four games because of a bruised left knee that has sidelined him for 11 of the last 12 games.
“All signs are he is progressing well,” Colangelo said.
Embiid, the No. 3 overall pick in 2014, missed the first two seasons while recovering from foot surgery.
The team traded big man Nerlens Noel, the sixth overall pick in 2013, to Dallas on Thursday for Boomers centre Andrew Bogut, young swingman Justin Anderson and a top-18 protected first-round draft pick.
On Wednesday, the Sixers traded forward Ersan Ilyasova to Atlanta.
The rebuilding Sixers have already doubled last year’s win total. They’re 21-35 entering Friday night’s game against Washington.
“As we move forward, there’s a lot of brightness on the horizon,” Colangelo said.
“We feel like we’ve taken a massive stride forward.”