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Sixers rookie Ben Simmons participates in first on-court drills since broken foot

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Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons underwent surgery in October to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot that occurred during the preseason. Now, the No. 1 overall pick from the 2016 NBA Draft is back on the floor and doing drills, according to a report from CSN Philly.

Simmons, 20, had a screw placed in his foot after the surgery and has said before that there is no official timetable for his return.

Via CSN Philly:

“To even see him today go through five-on-zero stuff, not a lot, not at a hundred percent, but with us in a 76ers uniform, the gym got a lift, you could feel it,” Brett Brown said.

Simmons ran the point, according to Joel Embiid. The first overall pick entered the NBA as a point-forward, and Brown has said he intends to play Simmons at the one.

Brown described Simmons’ participation as “light script work” — going at 80 percent. It included passing, running plays and communicating.

“Albeit small, it’s the first time he’s done that and it was great to have him,” Brown said.

Simmons apparently did most of his work playing the point, which Joel Embiid enjoyed very much saying, “I think he did a good job for someone who hasn’t been around. He knew the plays, and I was happy to be on the floor with him.”

The Sixers are near the bottom of the Eastern Conference again this season and have had some issues with their lineups, including a disgruntled Nerlens Noel and recent DNP-CDs for Jahlil Okafor.

Adding Simmons back to the mix would be great for them as they try to assess their true needs heading into the 2017 NBA Draft.

PBT Extra: Three things to watch with Boston in wake of Hayward injury

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Gordon Hayward is going to have surgery on his ankle and leg, which should not be a surprise to anyone who saw the gruesome injury to his leg just 5:15 into his Celtics career. There is no timetable for his return yet, maybe he makes it back for the playoffs, but the Celtics are not going to rush him and he may well miss the entire season.

What next for Boston?

In this PBT Extra I cover the three things to watch for from Boston, which in the short term could mean the Kyrie Irving show. Longer term, not much changes.

Gordon Hayward addresses Celtics and fans from hospital bed (video)

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Gordon Hayward broke his leg early in his Celtics debut – a devastating injury. He’s preparing for surgery tonight, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN:

First – after a perfect introduction from Marcus Smart – Hayward addressed the Boston crowd from his hospital bed before tonight’s game against the Bucks.

Hayward:

What’s up everybody? Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has sent me your thoughts and prayers. I’m going to be alright. It’s hurting me that I can’t be there for the home opener. I want nothing more just to be with my teammates and walk out onto that floor tonight. But I’ll be supporting you guys from here and wishing you the best of luck. Kill it tonight. Thanks, guys.

At least this nice moment (and an outpouring of support) came out of such a gruesome injury.

And if Smart keeps setting up his teammates so well, maybe the Celtics’ offense will keep humming.

76ers coach Brett Brown: Joel Embiid’s minute restriction could quickly rise

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Joel Embiid‘s minute limit of below 20 bummed out everyone (especially Embiid).

But good news could be on the way.

Keith Pompey of The Inquirer:

The 76ers look like a borderline playoff team, Embiid’s health the biggest variable. There’s a direct correlation between his ability to stay on the court and Philadelphia’s postseason chances.

Plus, he’s just so darn fun to watch. The more he plays, the bigger victory it is for every viewer not rooting for the 76ers’ opponent that night.

Report: Bucks have offered second-round pick as enticement for Rashad Vaughn trade

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John Henson was on the trade block. Greg Monroe seems permanently affixed there.

Another player the Bucks apparently want to deal? Rashad Vaughn, who was the No. 17 pick in 2015.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Milwaukee has been working to trade several players to clear salary-cap space, including guard Rashad Vaughn and center John Henson, league sources said. The Bucks have been willing to attach a second-round pick in offers for Vaughn, league sources said.

It’s unclear whether the Bucks are still as motivated to move Vaughn. They slid under the luxury-tax line by stretching Spencer Hawes. One-time target Richard Jefferson already signed with the Nuggets. A roster vacancy and cap savings might not matter as much anymore to Milwaukee.

But Vaughn has struggled in two NBA seasons. The Bucks might be better off trying to develop someone else, even a D-League player, over the 21-year-old Vaugh.

Vaughn is due $1,889,040 this season. He faces a $2,901,565 team option for next season, which his team must decide on by Oct. 31. It seems unlikely that will be exercised.

This is what happens when you draft players for the wrong reason.