76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo called in to 97.5 The Fanatic on Thursday afternoon to provide an update on how Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are faring in their injury rehabs.
Before you praise the heavens because a 76ers general manger talked to a local sports radio station, you might want to consider what Colangelo said. You might not end up too happy about it.
Colangelo is well aware that 76ers fans want to see Embiid and Simmons play, and play together. But it isn't going to happen until both players are 100 percent healthy, which might not happen for a while yet.
"I do want everyone to understand: We're taking every precaution," Colangelo said. "We put the health and performance of our players ahead of everything. It's a long-term scenario with these guys, as opposed to rushing them back, and putting them in a position to fail."
Simmons has been practicing a bit recently after being off the floor since breaking a foot in late September. Embiid has missed eight straight games because of a knee contusion.
Colangelo believes that the two might yet be able to play together in a game before the season ends.
"Obviously, when you see things in practice, you can talk about them all day long, but until you put it into practice and see it, it's going to be hard to know the ultimate outcome," he said. "We hope ... they're going to both be able to play together this year. That's the goal. That's the objective."
This might make some of you a little happier: Colangelo acknowledged that the 76ers' front office is "sensitive" to fans who criticize the team for being not as transparent about injury news as they'd like.
"It's certainly something we wrestle with all the time," Colangelo said. "When we talk about uncertainty as far as timing, it's not because there's any strategy; it's not because there's a nationally televised game that people think we're sensitive to. We're sensitive to, once again, the health and the long-term performance ability of these players, and that's the most important thing."
So yes, like it or not, Colangelo is looking toward the future more than he is the present.
"We'll put the health and long-term performance capability ahead of any kind of short-term gain," he said. "If it does play out where they both play together, and we have a good sample size, a body of work to base some further decisions on, it certainly will help us as we move into the draft and into free agency this summer. ...
"I think that by doing so, we're going to protect the best interest of this organization, and the fan base, because if we can get Joel and Ben healthy, and let them play together, they're both going to be an attraction, and we're going to be adding to that attraction, and it's really something to get excited about for the future."