Ben Simmons has certainly been proving in Summer League why he was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 Draft.
Simmons, who has been drawing comparisons by spectators that range from Jason Kidd to LeBron James, has passed the ball incredibly well in Utah and now in Las Vegas.
Though I try my best to be impartial in my journalism, as a Sixers fan, I can’t help but be excited about his future. He was a great passer at LSU, but I didn’t think he’d be this creative already.
He’s had seemingly endless highlight-reel passes:
Though his passing has been out of this world, he has shown a reluctance to shoot jumpers. That is, until Monday night against the Chicago Bulls. On Monday, Simmons shot 7-for-13 from the floor and had 18 points, three rebounds, and two assists.
If Simmons can learn to be confident and aggressive in scoring the basketball, the Sixers will have a legitimate superstar on their roster in a matter of a few years.
Simmons’ jump shot isn’t broken, but it isn’t exactly beautiful either. He wasn’t a great shooter at LSU by any stretch. To be fair to the player, he also didn’t shoot very frequently, as most of his baskets came in the lane. Due to his size and athletic advantage against defenders, he didn’t really need to shoot that often.
In the NBA, he’s going to have to shoot very frequently. This was clear in the Sixers’ game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Defenders were basically daring Simmons to shoot. At times, he had 4-5 feet between him and the defender on the perimeter.
Simmons wasn’t pulling the trigger; he took only eight shots all game. In order to reach his full potential, Simmons will need to take those shots. The lack of decisiveness led him to have seven turnovers against the Lakers.
If/when Simmons starts routinely shooting from outside 15 feet, the NBA will have a big problem on their hands. I haven’t seen a 19-year-old with Simmons’ court-vision, size, athleticism, and coordination in my life.
Yes it’s Summer League, but Ben Simmons is already proving he’s the real deal.