Former Kansas center Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, who suffered a torn left meniscus that required arthroscopic surgery on March 24, has not yet been cleared for full-court scrimmaging, the Bucks County Courier Times reported this week.
It’s the first update on the 7-footer’s condition since an Aug. 2 ESPN.com item indicated Embiid had returned to non-contact drills and expected to be “cleared for full-contact 5-on-5 by training camp (at the end of September).”
Embiid’s progress figures to be of interest to fans in Kansas City. The Sixers will meet the Miami Heat in a preseason game at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Sprint Center.
“Things seem to be progressing well for Embiid in his rehabilitation after undergoing surgery back in late March to address a meniscus tear in his left knee. The 76ers are likely planning to play it as safe as possible with their star-potential big man, but apparently are prepared to run him through full-contact activity once training camp kicks off,” ESPN.com’s Marc Spears wrote on Aug. 2. “He projects to be the starting center for the team, as he posted 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.1 assists across 25.4 minutes per game last season.”
The 23-year-old Embiid, the third overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, missed the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons because of a pair of surgeries on his right foot. He averaged 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in 28 games in 2013-14 — his one season at KU.
Aldrich addresses trade rumors
Former KU center Cole Aldrich of the Minnesota Timberwolves has been the subject of trade rumors all offseason.
“It is what it is. If it happened, it happened. If it didn’t, it didn’t. I’m going to be excited either way,” eighth-year pro Aldrich, a native of Bloomington, Minn., said in an interview with the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “I’m excited about my time. If I stay all year, I’m happy to be here. This is home for me and it always will be home, whether I’m with the Wolves or another team. I’ve loved my time being here, but it’s a business. It is what it is. I’ve been traded before and, as we spoke earlier in the year, you just never know if it’s going to happen again.”
Aldrich, 28, is in the second year of a three-year deal that paid him $7.6 million last season and will pay him $7.3 million this year. Projected to be the Timberwolves’ No. 3 center behind Karl Anthony-Towns and Gorgui Dieng, he may not be able to top the 8.6 minutes per game he averaged in 2016-17.
Aldrich averaged 1.7 points and 2.5 rebounds in 62 games a year ago after averaging 5.5 points and 4.8 boards in 13.3 minutes a game for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2015-16.
“Every year you want to have a role on a team. It’s been a good summer for me, but finding a way to earn those minutes is really all it is,” said Aldrich, who has also played for Oklahoma City, Houston, Sacramento and New York since leaving KU after his junior season (2009-10).
“We have a lot of really good guys. We’ve got a lot of talented big guys, so it’s going to be tough to break those rotation minutes, but all that you can do is go to camp ready, ready to work and find a way to help the team win. If you’re not playing, you make sure you’re ready for if somebody goes down with injury or they get a cold or whatever you’ve just got to step in and fill their place,” he added to the Pioneer Press.
Aldrich giving back to community
Aldrich and his wife, Britt, teamed with the Kids in Need Foundation to give away 600 backpacks filled with school supplies Monday at a pair of locations in Minneapolis. According to the Pioneer Press, 400 were delivered to Hiawatha Leadership Academy and 200 to the Kids in Need Foundation’s Twin Cities Teacher Resource Center. Last year, Cole and Britt delivered 300 backpacks with school supplies to Stone Bridge Community School in Minneapolis.
“Kids are kind of the future,” said Aldrich, who also surprised teachers with gifts on Monday. “For them to have the utilities and all of the backpacks and the school supplies and all that … I think it just helps out. It goes a long way.”
Aldrich and his wife hosted Salvation Army families for a Christmas dinner last winter. They visited a children’s hospital in the spring and went to Peru on a mission with the Starkey Hearing Foundation to distribute hearing aids this summer.
“It just kind of keeps going back to there’s a lot of people who need help,” Aldrich told the Pioneer Press. “I’m very fortunate to be able to help others not only with some time, but financially. It’s about helping others.”
McCormack impressed with KU coaches
David McCormack, a 6-10 senior center from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., who is ranked No. 35 in the recruiting class of 2018 by Rivals.com, apparently had a good time on his unofficial visit to KU on Monday night and Tuesday.
He’s also had unofficial visits to Oklahoma State and Georgetown and is also being recruited by UCLA, Texas, Duke and others.
“Coach Rob (Norm Roberts) is great, coach (Jerrance) Howard and, you know, obviously coach (Bill) Self is amazing. All of them are great guys,” McCormack told Jayhawkslant.com on Wednesday.
Emmitt Williams lists KU in top seven
Emmitt Williams, a 6-7 senior forward from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., who is ranked No. 17 in the recruiting class of 2018 by Rivals.com, has cut his list of schools to seven. They are: Kansas, Duke, Florida, USC, LSU, Miami and Oregon.
Jordan Brown cuts KU
Jordan Brown, a 6-10 senior forward from Prolific Prep in Napa, Calif., who is ranked No. 6 in the recruiting class of 2018 by Rivals.com, has eliminated Kansas from his list of schools.
Brown has a final list of UCLA, St. John’s, California, Gonzaga, Louisiana-Lafayette, Nevada and Oregon, according to Zagsblog.com. Brown’s dad, Dion, attended Louisiana-Lafayette.