The 76ers will open the season Oct. 18 against the Wizards in a 7 p.m. nationally televised game on ESPN at the Capital One Center in Washington.

The matchup will be a homecoming for first overall pick Markelle Fultz, who grew up in Upper Marlboro, Md. The guard  played at DeMatha Catholic High in Hyattsville, Md.

The game also will mark the debut for Sixers point guard Ben Simmons, the first overall pick in 2016 who missed last season after surgery on his broken right foot.

In addition, the league announced that the Sixers will play the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in a noon game on Christmas Day. ESPN also will televise that game.

The game will mark the Sixers' first Christmas matchup since they faced the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center on Dec. 25, 2001. In all, the Sixers have played in 29 Christmas games, 11 against the Knicks. They have won six of those matchups against New York.  The Sixers have a 16-13 overall record on Christmas.

The Christmas matchups usually feature high-profile matchups.

"This is another reminder that coach Brett Brown and our young talented and competitive Sixers team are getting of those in the know in and around the game of basketball," said Scott O"Neil, the Sixers CEO.

The Sixers, who finished 28-54 last season, have a lot of buzz surrounding the team. They drafted Fultz in June. They also signed free agents J.J. Redick and Amir Johnson. Simmons will also showcase his point guard skills at being a point forward at Louisiana State University.

London-bound: The Sixers' regular-season matchup against the Boston Celtics on Jan. 11 in London has been finalized.

The Atlantic Division rivals will square off in NBA London Game 2018 at the O2 arena. A league source confirmed to in July that the game was in the works. The game was officially announced Thursday.

Tickets will go on sale for the matchup in October. The contest is designated as a home game for the Sixers. As a result, the team will play for 40 games at the Wells Fargo Center this season instead of the normal 41.

However, the Sixers are prepared to accommodate their season-ticket holders for losing a home game. Those with automatic-payment plans will not be charged for the game. Season-ticket holders who have paid in full can request to get a game's ticket price back.  They can also roll over the refund for future game purchases, playoff tickets or use it to go toward the following season's tickets.

"I look forward to coming back to London with the Sixers after visiting for the first time this summer," Joel Embiid said in a statement. "We are a young, hungry team and will be sure to give the fans an exciting game against Boston in January."

Embiid traveled to England in June to be on hand for a celebrity exhibition soccer match in Wales.

The last time the Sixers went overseas was during the 2013-14 preseason. They played Bilbao Basket in Bilbao, Spain, on Oct. 6, 2013. Two days later, they faced the Oklahoma City Thunder in Manchester, England.

This matchup will mark the NBA's eighth regular-season game in London.

"I am delighted the NBA continues to bring the world's best basketball to our great city in what has now become a well-established and eagerly anticipated event on London's sporting calendar," said Sadiq Khan, London's mayor. "I know Londoners will be thrilled to see the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics up close at our world-famous O2."

The Sixers open training camp, tentatively, on Sept. 26 at their practice facility in Camden.

Basketball Without Borders

Sixers guard Jerryd Bayless, executive  Marc Eversley  and scout Marin Sedlacek will be part of an NBA contingent working the first Basketball Without Borders camp in Israel. The camp, which is part of Basketball Without Borders Europe, will be held Sunday through Wednesday in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and at The Wingate Institute  in Netanya.

New hire

The Sixers have hired Patrick Rees from the Wizards as their senior director of public relations.  He will start after Labor Day. Rees had been the Wizards director of basketball communications.