Ben Simmons had a promising summer league in 2016. He showed the ability to pass and to bring up the ball which was the skill that was the most exciting about him. With Joel Embiid looking ready to go the Sixers were looking forward to start the season. While Simmons was in training camp, however, he suffered a foot injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season. This, in turn, led to the Sixers being in position to be in the lottery and they ended up trading up from three to get the number one overall pick.
The Sixers now have a young big three that they can build upon in Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Embiid and Fulz are great offensive players. Ben Simmons role will be to be a set up man that can get his opportune points when he can. Simmons took a lot of flack when he was not able to lead his team to the NCAA tournament. The fact that he was one and done didn’t help either because that would mean that he would never get the chance to make that right.
The Sixers are counting on Simmons to be the point guard and to lead the Sixers into the playoffs. This is the task for Simmons this year. He will be able to get the chance to be in the post season finally after the last time he played any kind of playoff type basketball was in high school. Simmons led Mount Verde Academy to a DICKS National Championship his senior season in high school and was the number one ranked player coming out of high school via ESPN. Mount Verde went 31-1 that 2014-15 season.
Simmons then went to LSU where his talent showed and it was known all year that his talent would make him the number one overall pick. Simmons helped the LSU tigers beat then ninth ranked Kentucky Wildcats 85-67. He had 14 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and three steals. Simmons and the Sixers fates intertwined and the Sixers drafted him number one overall in the 2016. Then it was the summer league.
The Sixers played in the Utah summer league first in 2016 and averaged eight points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists a game. In the Las Vegas summer league he averaged 12.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists a game. When training camp came around it was time to get Simmons ready for the season and then he broke his foot. Simmons got surgery in October and it was said that Simmons would be able to return after the All Star break but that never came true. On April 11th Simmons put up a post via Uninterrupted on Instagram saying that after a CT scan that he was ready to begin playing again.
Simmons did not play summer league this season but now it is looking like everything is a go for this year. Everybody remembers David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs got injured and then the Spurs ended up with the number one pick. They picked potential hall of famer Tim Duncan and that changed the Spurs franchise forever. The Sixers hope to have this same hope after Simmons and Embiid’s injuries and that in turn resulting in Markelle Fultz. They have added JJ Redick so that is a person that Simmons can pass the ball out to on the corners when he drives.
There is more offense on this Sixers team with Fultz, Embiid, Redick and even Robert Covington with his ability to shoot and score. Simmons will have more talent around him to make plays. Simmons is 6-10 with point guard skills. He has LeBron like characteristics and his talent is similar to James when he first came into the league. LeBron was able to fill up the stat sheet and his passing ability was second to none. LeBron just like Simmons, shooting ability had room for improvement.
Simmons with NBA training will advance his shooting skills. He has already put up videos of him shooting in the gym. Simmons also has the ability to fill up the stats sheet which will make him versatile on the court and will make him one of the most relied on players on the team. Simmons can score when he wants and his passing will be some of the best in the league. His rebounding is underrated also because he will use his size and power forward skills to get rebounds and start the fast break.
With Simmons starting the fast break and Embiid and Fultz running the floor with him, the fast break game will be another tool for the Sixers. Simmons has shown that he is not a selfish player either. Via CSN Simmons has said that he is a starting point guard.
“Once you start playing, it’s one of those games where you just play and you feel it out,” Simmons said. “For me, I think you can move me anywhere. But, I’m a starting point guard.”
A lot of questions have been raised about Simmons playing point guard because Markelle Fultz, who they just drafted, is a point guard. Simmons says he and Fulz have no problems with that.
“I think it’ll be easy,” Simmons said. “I have no problem sharing the ball, he doesn’t either.”
Simmons has shown that he is ready to play. He has shown that he is ready to get better. Finally he has shown that he is willing to play with his teammates. All these signs point to the Sixers having a break out season and the rebuilding process being over.