LAS VEGAS - The 76ers will tell you Joel Embiid's trip to the NBA Summer League is all about being in shape.
The 7-foot-2 center performed layup and shooting drills after the Sixers practice concluded here Friday at UNLV's South Gym. He didn't participate in the two-hour practice. Nor will he play in any summer league games.
"We know he's healthy," said Sixers assistant Lloyd Pierce, who's coaching the summer league team. "He's been in a great spot the past couple of months. . . . He's just trying to get in basketball conditioning, [work on his] basketball skills, and feel comfortable on the floor."
Embiid is scheduled to make his debut in the 2016-17 season after being sidelined the last two years following surgeries to his right foot. The Sixers selected Embiid third overall in the 2014 draft.
He had bone-graft surgery to repair the navicular bone in his right foot in August. The former Kansas standout already had missed what would have been his rookie season after undergoing surgery in June 2014 to repair a stress fracture in the same bone. A setback in his recovery led to the second operation.
Embiid started participating in five-on-five scrimmages for the first time as a Sixer a couple of weeks ago.
With the focus more on evaluating summer league talent, the team decided to shut him down while here.
"So now, it's just to be around the team and stay in shape," Pierce said of Embiid.
Battle of ex-roommates
There's a lot of attention surrounding Saturday's 8:30 p.m. matchup between the Sixers and the Los Angeles Lakers. That's because the game will showcase Sixers first overall pick Ben Simmons and second overall pick Brandon Ingram of the Lakers.
But Simmons will also square off against D'Angelo Russell, a former teammate and roommate at Montverde Academy. Russell, 20, graduated in 2014, a year ahead of Simmons. He was a rookie this past season. Russell is also someone Simmons, 19, leaned on during the draft process.
New set up troops
Second-year players Nik Stauskas and Jerami Grant along with undrafted free agent rookie Brandon Paul will join the Sixers summer league team here. They are taking over the three of the spots that went to Levi Randolph, Javon McCrea, James Nunnally, and Tomasz Gielo.
Korkmaz staying put
Sixers draft pick Furkan Korkmaz will remain in Turkey for at least another season.
The agent of the 26th overall selection said Korkmaz is under contract next season with Anadoulu Efes of the Turkish Super League and can't afford to get out of it.
The buyout price for the 6-foot-8, 170-pounder is $2 million. NBA teams are allowed to pay only up to $650,000 toward a buyout. League rules dictate that players must pay any remaining balance. Korkmaz is slotted to make a little more than $1.02 million in 2016-17 if he signs with the Sixers. He reportedly can pay off his buyout in installments.
Korkmaz would have made around $1.74 million in the NBA as the last lottery pick (14th overall). He thought he would be selected late in the lottery or somewhere in the middle of the first round. That's why he didn't withdraw his name and reapply for next summer's draft.
Only 18 years old and rail thin, Korkmaz could benefit from one or two more seasons overseas. Right now, he's a spot-up shooter who can run off screens. Korkmaz needs to develop his ballhandling and defensive fundamentals to compete in the NBA.
He averaged 5.6 points in 14.3 minutes and shot 43 percent on three-pointers in 29 Turkish league games. He struggled from the foul line, making just 62 percent.
The Sixers announced signings of undrafted rookie forwards Shawn Long and James Webb III on Friday.