For four seasons, Ben Simmons was the point guard of the Philadelphia 76ers. The 6-foot-10 man out of LSU had the skills and the vision to be a floor leader so the Sixers had him out there running their offense despite his lack of a jumper.
The results were encouraging as Simmons made three All-Star appearances and he made an All-NBA Third Team during his time in Philadelphia before things went sour. He averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists, and 1.7 steals during his time with the Sixers before things hit the fan and he didn’t play at all in the 2021-22 season.
ESPN’s Jalen Rose believes that the Sixers made a mistake making Simmons the point guard as it hurt his development:
First, it’s about health and he took a lot of slander for not playing in Philly and with the Nets, but as any athlete will tell you, you don’t just turn around and get back surgery. So clearly he was injured. So I want to know how did he even pass a physical, but now that he’s there, I believe he healthy he’s gonna give them what I consider a junk lineup up front. Philadelphia made a mistake in developing Ben Simmons as a point guard and here’s why. When you’re not attempting shots outside of the paint, it’s hard to have you at the top of the floor. So now that they have KD (Kevin Durant), he’s going to play quality minutes at the 4. Watch Ben Simmons be like on the baseline playing like a small ball 5, and in that case, he’s gonna have an opportunity to be a productive player. He’s not going to have to worry about shooting the ball. He’s not going to have to worry about being a big time scorer. He can be a defender, a playmaker, and a teammate and I think you’ll fit right in with Kyrie (Irving) and KD.
No matter what the Sixers did with Simmons, a lot of his lack of development falls on his refusal to shoot a jumper and continue to grow as a player on the offensive end of the floor. Now that he’s in Brooklyn, maybe he will have an easier opportunity to grow on offense.
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