Sixers Notes: Ben Simmons' Shooting Form Improving, Says Brett Brown

SAN FRANCISCO -- After Sixers shootaround Tuesday, Robert Covington (probable with right knee soreness), went through light shooting drills with Ben Simmons. 

Simmons has been with the Sixers on this four-game West Coast road trip as he continues his rehab from a fractured right foot. 

The first overall pick has been limited to 5-on-0 drills. Brown has noticed some improvements in his game, but his observations have been limited because of the fact Simmons is only doing non-contact work. 

"I see improvement with his form," Brown said of Simmons' shot. "We've spent a lot of time trying to get his elbow under the ball and have it be more arm than wrist. ... That's coming around. But even that is a challenge when it's not sort of against some bodies." 

Brown has seen growth in team-focused areas, an important aspect for Simmons to develop as the projected starting point guard next season. 

"[I notice a] familiarity with our structure," Brown said. "The recognition of our words, our vocabulary, how do I fit in, how does he fit in within that world, we give him the world. There's a whole responsibility, there's a whole feel to driving the car. He's our quarterback, he's running the offense. I think that to do that, even in a script situation, a 5-on-0 situation, it helps."

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Shawn Long here to stay?
Shawn Long's 10-day contract expires on Wednesday and the big man could be sticking around with the Sixers. 

"I think we're going through that," Brown said of making a decision on Long's contract. "It wouldn't surprise me. I have no desire, personally, to look elsewhere. He's a part of what we've been doing."

Long was a member of the Sixers' summer league and training camp roster. He was called up from their D-League affiliate, the 87ers, amid the frontcourt injuries. Long is averaging 6.3 points and 4.0 rebounds in three games. 

"We feel like he's ours," Brown said. "When he comes back, you just feel like you're reclaiming your own. His ability to step out and make a three, his ability to have a finesse move at a post, he does have length, he does play hard, he is fluid in his movements. All those things give you hope that maybe there is a place for him. He's young, he's a good young man, he works. There's really nothing but positives that come to my mind when you mention his name."

The status of Tiago Splitter, who has been sidelined since last season, could influence what the Sixers do with Long as well as the 15th roster spot left open since they did not offer Justin Harper a second 10-day deal.

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