Joel Embiid's minutes limit expected to be 'in the teens' early on
NBA.com staff reports
Last week, the Philadelphia 76ers made sure budding star center Joel Embiid would be a part of their future for a long time by inking him to a lucrative contract extension. To ensure that is the case as much as they can, Embiid will start the 2017-18 minutes restriction that will hopefully prevent him from the injuries that have marred his past.
Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Sixers coach Brett Brown will have Embiid playing less than 20 minutes a night to start the season. However, that minutes restriction may be lifted quickly:
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.”
Thirty or so minutes after Brown spoke, Embiid walked over to the media. He said he was excited about the season, before saying, “I hope they don’t have me on a minutes restriction.”
A reporter then told him what Brown had said.
“Ah, [shoot],” Embiid said. “I didn’t know about that. But that’s disappointing. I feel great, and hopefully that changes based on this practice and tomorrow’s practice.”
Brown hopes that he’ll be able to play around 32 minutes a game by January.
Embiid said his conditioning is getting better. He pointed out that all his minutes against the Heat came in the first half.
“So I felt like I could have played 30 minutes,” he said. “I felt good. So I think it’s coming. I’m still not there, but my body’s getting in better shape. I feel great.”
Embiid said he will lobby to remain in close games past his time limit.
“I got a voice,” he said. “They got to listen to me. … If I feel great and my body feels great and my knee is fine, I should play 30 minutes or more. I definitely have my opinion on that.
“They are going to hear me. We are going to discuss it.”