CAMDEN, N.J. — Joel Embiid is working his way back to playing for the Philadelphia 76ers after undergoing a meniscus procedure. Whenever he does make it back to the court, he'll be surrounded by a new supporting cast.

Embiid said that the plan is to return this season but that there isn’t a timetable in place yet. He has yet to play with Kyle Lowry or Buddy Hield, Philly's marquee midseason additions. The 76ers have still not figured out how to win without Embiid but the big man likes what he sees from the newcomers. It took him just three games to be impressed with Hield.

“I mean, we've been struggling lately but I believe in all those guys,” Embiid said. “It happens. Everybody goes through rough patches. I told coach after the first three games, ‘Man, I'm sorry, I wish I was playing,’ because I was so excited. I felt like Buddy, the way he's playing, I just felt like I could help him even more.”

Hield had some huge games for the Sixers before the All-Star break but has since cooled off, averaging 22.3 points per game before the break and 11.0 points per game in the four games since the season resumed. His ability to shoot should unlock a lot for Philly and he'll have even more space to fire away when Embiid is back.

Nurse mentioned that Embiid and Hield's on-court fit will be less about a two-man game like he had with previous sharpshooters JJ Redick and Seth Curry. Instead, it will be more about putting Buddy in the right positions to be open when Embiid gets double-teamed. Embiid and Tyrese Maxey established a monster two-man game this season and having Hield space the floor for them will be mutually beneficial.

Lowry has long been an adversary of the 76ers during his days with the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat. Now, his sense for making plays on both ends of the floor has helped Philly. Although his role will likely remain a spot off the bench, Embiid is excited to play alongside him.

“Obviously having him here, I think he's gonna help us a lot,” Embiid said about Lowry. “I think he's gonna help me a lot, just his experience. And then basketball-wise, he's still really freaking good.”

Embiid believes that the 76ers front office did as good of a job as they could have at the trade deadline. The additions of Hield, Lowry and Cam Payne seem to have made the roster better but it is still clearly lacking without the big man in the middle. Once Embiid is back, the new additions should pay off even more.