PHILADELPHIA — As word spread through NBA inner circles that Kansas prospect Joel Embiid suffered a foot injury, the Philadelphia 76ers wondered if his misfortune was just the break the downtrodden franchise needed.
When the 7-foot center was available at three, the Sixers pounced, even though he could miss up to a full season because of a broken foot.
The 76ers are used to big men sitting out the season. Former All-Star center Andrew Bynum never played a second because of bad knees in 2012-13. And rookie Nerlens Noel sat out all of last season because of a torn ACL.
Embiid’s recovery from a stress fracture in his right foot could take five to eight months. So will the Sixers play him in another season where the Sixers are building again toward a high lottery pick instead of a postseason berth?
“We’ll focus on the long-term health of the player,” said Sam Hinkie, the team’s president and general manager.
SUNS: Phoenix extended qualifying offers to point guard Eric Bledsoe and forward P.J. Tucker.
The move was necessary by Monday for the team to retain the rights to the players, who both are restricted free agents.
WIZARDS: Forward Martell Webster is recovering from back surgery and could miss the start of next season.
The Wizards announced Friday that Webster had surgery to repair a herniated disc in his lower back.
THE NBA draft delivered its highest rating on ESPN, surpassing the mark set 11 years ago when LeBron James was the No. 1 pick.
The telecast Thursday night had a 2.3 rating, according to Nielsen. NBA Digital also said it showed record growth in the U.S., with a 108 percent jump in mobile application unique users for the week.