Sixers dealing with a rash of injuries at guard

76ers Nuggets Basketball
The Sixers' Dario Saric was one of the few healthy point guards in the starting line for Friday night's game in Denver.

DENVER - Turn back the calendar to July 15, the day the 76ers signed Dario Saric to a rookie contract.

That moment came within days after they signed Jerryd Bayless, Sergio Rodriguez and Gerald Henderson to free-agent deals. It was also weeks after the team drafted Ben Simmons, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Furkan Korkmaz on June 23.

All was good in Sixers' land. Or so they thought.

Of the seven, Saric and Luwawu-Cabarrot were the only two players available for Friday night's game here against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.

"We've had a lot experience dealing with this," Sixers coach Brett Brown said of players sidelined the last three seasons. "I don't remember dealing with this en masse like we have now. To think you are going to start a season with Jerryd Bayless and Ben Simmons and Gerald Henderson and so on. It's just part of pro sport.

"You got to deal with it and roll."

Korkmaz is still a member of Anadolu Efes of the Turkish Super Basketball League because he couldn't afford his $2 million buyout. NBA teams are allowed to pay only up to $650,000 toward a buyout.

Meanwhile, Simmons fractured the fifth-metatarsal bone in his right foot during the final day of training camp. Bayless had season-ending wrist surgery two weeks ago. He had only played in three games this season.

Henderson has been sidelined Thursday and Friday with left-hip soreness. And Rodriguez missed Friday's game because of a sprained left ankle.

"We are not crying about it," Brown said. "We will try to find ways to compete, and a way to get a win. . . . But it's true, we have taken a push in multiple positions."

No punch was more devastating than at point guard.

Simmons, Bayless and Rodriguez were all going to play the position. Simmons, the first overall pick, had been a point-forward at Louisiana State. But against the Nuggets, McConnell was the Sixers only true point guard. Nik Stauskas, who started at shooting guard in place of Henderson, was McConnell's backup at the one.

The Sixers were expected to take the next step in the rebuilding process this season. However, they headed into Friday's matchup with a league-worst 7-24 record.

kpompey@phillynews.com

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