HOUSTON – Jerryd Bayless' debut with the 76ers will depend on his comfort level.
The point guard has been sidelined since the first few days of training camp with ligament damage to his left wrist. Sixers coach Brett Brown said his return depends on how the wrist feels. Then the next step is getting to a fitness level that will enable him to compete.
To help alleviate the stress on Bayless' wrist, Brown is considering playing him off the ball at times once he returns.
"I'm happy to do that," Brown said. "He is a combo guard. But I think it starts with him declaring how does it feel."
Bayless and the team will have a better understanding of his comfort level and conditioning this week.
The Sixers assigned him to the Delaware 87ers, their NBA Development League affiliate, on Monday. He's there to get much-needed practices to test his wrist and determine his fitness level.
His first practice with the Sevens was Monday at the Sixers' practice facility in Camden. He will be reevaluated daily.
Based on the Sixers' schedule, this provided the best opportunity for him to practice. The team was on a two-game road trip in Atlanta and Houston while Bayless was back in Philadelphia. The Sixers are off Tuesday before playing a home-and-away, back-to-back against the Washington Wizards and Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Sevens' next game is against the Sioux Falls SkyForce on Friday in South Dakota.
When Tony Wroten and Carl Landry were injured last season, they practiced with the Sevens while remaining on the Sixers roster. So saying a player is assigned to a D-League team is just a formality and does not mean they'll play for it. NBA players are not permitted to practice with a D-League team unless they are assigned to it.
Brown said he thinks that more NBA teams will begin using their D-League affiliates for rehabilitation stints. The Sixers also planned to send Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot down to get extended playing the time. The 24th overall pick was averaging 0.7 points and four minutes in six appearances heading into Monday night's matchup.
Needing bodies, they decided to keep Luwawu-Cabarrot because Bayless, Ben Simmons (foot) and Nerlens Noel (knee) are out with injuries.
On Sunday, the Sixers toured NASA's Johnson Space Center. "Just taking our guys to see something that's incredibly important," Brown said.