The Philadelphia 76ers have been tanking for a long time, and they finally got their man. Ben Simmons has skills that you can’t teach. He should be a star in Philadelphia for years to come, and the team should consider playing him exclusively at point guard.
He has uncommon passing instincts, and that is partly why he gets compared to LeBron James so often.
76ers head coach Brett Brown claims that the team will bring Simmons along slowly, especially when it comes to using him at point guard. But why not throw him into the fire right away? Simmons and Jahlil Okafor will be a dynamic pairing for the next decade, and they could put up truly amazing numbers if Ben gets accustomed to playing PG quickly.
Okafor wasn’t happy with his situation last season, and it’s hard to blame him for that. This year will be a lot better, though. The 76ers probably won’t make the playoffs, but they have enough weapons to at least be competitive. Brown is optimistic about Simmons’ future in the league, and it should be interesting to see how he gets utilized next year.
“I think the point-guard position is the hardest position to play in the NBA as a first-year player, let alone as a person that’s played a four man his whole life,” Brown said to NBA.com. “He would be all over the place. It seems quite reckless to do it, almost unfair. I hope to continue to be ambitiously creative at tapping into what he really can do, and in my heart of hearts I think he can do it.”
Simmons is a 6-foot-10 playmaker, and he already has strong ball handling abilities and passing intuition. The 76ers haven’t been this exciting since the days of Allen Iverson. Simmons will hopefully be more mature off of the court than Iverson was, but you never know in the NBA. The young Australian has a lot of potential, though, and it should be fun to watch what he and Okafor can accomplish together.
Simmons has looked good in the Summer League so far. He should be Rookie of the Year next season barring any major injuries, and the Sixers will certainly sell a lot more tickets now that they have two legitimate franchise players on their roster. But if they start Simmons at the point immediately, then he’ll be ready to run it effectively once Philadelphia is making deep playoff runs.