It would not be Sixers preseason without hearing injury news related to one of the team’s young players. Richaun Holmes fractured a bone in his left (non-shooting) wrist in Friday night’s preseason game against the Celtics and will be out at least three weeks, per the team’s press release. He will then be re-evaluated.
Holmes averaged nearly 10 points/game last season in an expanded role due to Joel Embiid’s injuries, Nerlens Noel’s whining and eventual trade, and Jahlil Okafor’s injuries and ineffectiveness. He was competing for backup center minutes this preseason with Amir Johnson, and he might have played alongside him in some lineups. Holmes also has very evident chemistry with Ben Simmons as a pick-and-roll specialist with terrific finishing ability and somewhat usable three-point range.
Jerryd Bayless missed all but three games last season with a wrist injury, which at first may give you pause about the timeframe presented. However, Bayless tore ligaments in his wrist which eventually required surgery due to a lack of recovery without it. The fractured wrist Holmes suffered is a less significant injury and should not cost him the season.
With Joel Embiid not cleared for game action quite yet, The Vegan Jah should expect to see expanded minutes at the end of the preseason and early in the regular season, especially when Embiid sits out back-to-back games. The Sixers still have some cushion, with an expanded roster to include James Michael McAdoo on a two-way contract to potentially absorb center minutes where needed.
However, this could hurt the team early, especially if the injury keeps him out into November and beyond. Holmes has been a bright spot as a situationally effective backup center picked up in the second round a couple years ago, and he hopefully will get back healthy soon.