Philadelphia 76ers rumors reveal that Joel Embiid is just about ready to return to the court. The 76ers lost Embiid midway through the 2016-17 NBA season to a meniscus tear in his left knee. It cost him the year and he ended up having surgery a bit later to repair the injury. Now, a report by ESPN is stating that Embiid is very close to playing for the 76ers again.

Embiid has reportedly been cleared to participate in 5-on-5 drills and also participated in a full practice on Thursday (Oct. 5). That’s huge news for the 76ers, as it now means he is one step from playing in an NBA preseason game.

If Embiid can do that without any pain in his leg, then he might be able to play on opening night.

What does Embiid mean to the 76ers?

These Philadelphia 76ers rumors come as great news to fans of the team and also fantasy basketball owners. There had been some concern that Joel Embiid wouldn’t recover from his March surgery in time for the first game of the 2017-18 NBA season. Now, it appears that Embiid is right on track, giving the 76ers a huge weapon right out of the gate. It’s impossible to overstate how important he will be to the team’s success this year.

In 31 games during the 2016-17 NBA season, Joel Embiid averaged 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds a night. Those are impressive statistics, but it excited fans even further when he started showing off an adept three-point shot.

Embiid helps to spread the floor on offense and can be a force on the defensive end of the court as well. When he is healthy, the 76ers are a much better team, but he won’t be able to escape his reputation of “always being hurt” until he gets more games under his belt.

How do the 76ers look in the East?

When Carmelo Anthony got traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, it potentially weakened the New York Knicks.

That could be a great thing for the Philadelphia 76ers, as it may mean there is less competition in the Eastern Conference. The Indiana Pacers also traded away Paul George, so that is another team that is susceptible this year. The team to beat will still be the improved Cleveland Cavaliers in the East, but 76ers fans could have a lot to cheer about this season.

With the addition of guards Markelle Fultz and JJ Redick, as well as the debut of former No. 1 pick Ben Simmons, there are a lot of new faces on the 76ers. The team also still has Jahlil Okafor and Dario Saric, giving the team a lot of depth in the frontcourt. Can all this talented youth lead the team straight to the 2018 NBA Playoffs? Or will there be more Philadelphia 76ers rumors this season about the team “playing” for a better draft pick?