UPDATE [Thursday]: It seems as though 76ers coach Brett Brown, general manager Sam Hinkie, Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel, and Joel Embiid are all in Spain watching Dario Saric play for his Croatian team in the FIBA World Cup.
"I am proud of the effort our three players - Nerlens, Joel and Michael - have made to fly to Spain in order to show their support for Dario, another cornerstone of our program," Brown said.
"The opportunity for all of us to spend quality time with each other and continue to discuss how we are going to build our program is very exciting.
"As a group we are committed to getting this right."
From Wednesday: After a long Labor Day weekend, the reality of facing fall begins to set in. People try to squeeze out the last warm-weather activities, and with the start of NBA training camps now under a month away, some players jet off to enjoy their last days of freedom for nearly nine months.
The Sixers’ young core is ready to hit the hardwood however, injury issues aside, as three of the team’s brightest young players got together to do some offseason sweating early Wednesday morning.
Reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams posted a picture on his Twitter account of himself, Nerlens Noel, and a sweat-soaked Joel Embiid in a gymnasium following a workout. Along with the image Carter-Williams wrote: “Good workout with my bros #Philly”.
The picture represents the first time that the three lottery picks have been on the court together and provides a glimpse of the franchise’s future.
Embiid was, of course, still sporting a large post-surgery boot on his right leg, and his participation in any basketball-related workouts was likely largely limited. Similarly, Carter-Williams has still not been cleared for full contact play, and Noel is still easing himself back into action.It is safe to assume that the trio didn’t go too hard on the hardwood. Still though, it is pretty promising to see Embiid already out there with the other main young players tabbed to be the future of the franchise.
Chemistry can be developed through simply shooting around and communicating, and it is good to see the center take such a proactive approach to his start with the Sixers. Working out his touch, footwork and strength is an excellent way for Embiid to be productive throughout his season on the shelf, much like Noel did last year. Being around his teammates and participating when he can is a great way for him to become familiar with the franchise.
Carter-Williams getting some pre-training camp work in with his former AAU teammate Nerlens Noel is a good sign too, as the two will be central to any on-court success that the Sixers have this season. If chemistry between the two clicks correctly, the Philadelphia faithful could be in store for a future full of pick-and-roll alley-oops and fast break flushes. But first, Noel needs to again get comfortable on the court, and Carter-Williams will be crucial in acclimating the former Kentucky Wildcat to the on-court action, as the de facto team leader in the wake of the Thaddeus Young trade.
It will be a while until the trio of Carter-Williams, Noel and Embiid suit up for the Sixers in an actual NBA game and begin to help the team climb back into contention, but seeing them put in offseason work together is a solid start.