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Sixers practice notes: No. 1 pick Ben Simmons is back on the court in sneakers

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The No. 1 overall pick is making progress.

NBA: Summer League-Philadelphia 76ers vs Golden State Warriors Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Following early trepidation about if, not when, Ben Simmons would take the court for the Sixers this season, all signs have pointed in a positive direction. Today brings the best news yet, with Brett Brown telling media at this afternoon’s practice that Simmons was able to walk out on the court in sneakers this morning.

Brown called the step “significant” in light of Simmons’ ever-present walking boot. He was able to shoot free throws while on the court, inching ever closer toward a full return, in addition to undergoing what Brown deemed a “point guard test”.

Amidst all the excitement surrounding Joel Embiid, it’s easy to forget the the team still has a No. 1 pick who hasn’t stepped on the floor yet. Having gone through a series of health trials and tribulations himself, the center from Cameroon knows even the smallest bits of progress can bring happiness and confidence.

Before anyone starts getting too excited, remember that we’ve been here before with other players. The road back to the hardwood is often paved with setbacks and unforeseen events, and Simmons still has to put his foot through rigorous tests before he’s allowed to play in a real-deal game.

Oh, who am I kidding? SIMMONS ALMOST BACK! The basketball world can begin quivering at the prospect of a Simmons-Embiid partnership now, because the impending doom they represent is finally close enough to be taken credibly. Ultra-big pick-and-rolls, alley-oops galore, and so much more will feature in Philadelphia soon enough. Get ready.