AMHERST, Ma. -- Joel Embiid will make his NBA debut Tuesday night -- for 12 minutes.
The Sixers will continue to monitor Embiid’s playing time as he suits up for his first game since being drafted third overall in 2014.
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“I’ve got a 12-minute budget and I’m probably going to spend it in the first aisle I come to,” Brett Brown said following shootaround Tuesday morning at UMass-Amherst. “I feel like I’m going to use that up in the first half and just play him.”
Brown is following a segmented approach with Embiid’s playing time to get the most out of each spurt. The clumps are capped at four minutes and could be as short as three, monitored by trips up and down the court.
“I’ve got a good thing going right now with our three bigs,” Brown said. “If you’re not going rim to rim on two consecutive possessions, you have to be tired. So it’s no problem. Have a seat and we’ll bring somebody else in.”
Embiid's first appearance with the Sixers will mark the culmination of the recovery from two foot surgeries in as many years. His debut has been highly anticipated around the organization and in Philadelphia, which isn't lost on Brown.
"It’s just an amazing journey for him and a real positive for the city," Brown said. "I feel like the city, they deserve a hug, too, and they’re going to get one with him."
As of shootaround, Brown had not locked in on a starting five for Tuesday’s game. Dario Saric is expected to play his first NBA game as he deals with lower back soreness.
“I feel excited,” Saric said. “I expect to try to catch the rhythm of the NBA, try to catch our actions, this style of play."
Brown does not anticipate Jerryd Bayless (left wrist soreness) will play, and will make a final determination ahead of the game. Fellow point guard Cat Barber suffered a hand and wrist injury during Monday’s practice and did not travel with the team. With those injuries, Brown plans to play shooting guard Nik Stauskas at the one spot during the game.
Jahlil Okafor will not play as the team monitors his workload in his return from last season’s knee injury.