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Report: Ben Simmons could make NBA debut after All-Star break

Ben Simmons

The Philadelphia 76ers could potentially be getting a huge reinforcement into the mix as the second half of the season draws on. According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, rookie No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons could make his NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break.

“Barring a recovery setback, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to be on course to take the hardwood near March,” Haynes reported. “There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.”

This would be some big news for a Sixers team that remains somewhat alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race. By virtue of the performance we’ve seen from Joel Embiid in the low-post, there’s an odd aura of confidence surrounding the Sixers this season.

For his part, Simmons has remained sidelined since fracturing a bone in his right foot during training camp. It was an injury that set back his ability to progress early in his rookie season.

Simmons, 20, played one season of college ball at LSU, averaging 19.2 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. Should he return without any real limitations, the Sixers will have a nice trio with Simmons, Embiid and fellow rookie Dario Saric in which to build moving forward.