The future of the process; Is Ben Simmons the final piece of the puzzle for the Sixers?

LSU Marquette Basketball
LSU forward Ben Simmons (25) reacts during the second half of the Legends Classic semifinal against Marquette in an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, in New York. Marquette upset LSU 81-80. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

As the season wears on, the prospect of Ben Simmons playing in Philadelphia continues to excite fans of the Sixers. But just how important is he to the process? Is Ben Simmons truly the final piece of the Sixers process puzzle? Here’s an in depth scouting report on this years projected number one pick.

Profile:

Ben Simmons, PF/SF, LSU

6’10” 225lbs

Projected NBA Pick: Top 1

Strengths:

Simmons has the very rare combination of size, speed, and basketball awareness. Similar to Anthony Davis in his guard-like ball control, Simmons is probably the better passer. The forward commands the game like a point guard, while possessing the body of a power forward. The LSU standout can easily bring the ball up, and then dish it off, slide down to the post and dominate down on the block.

Ben Simmons is a potent scorer, putting up about 20 points per game on 56% shooting in the relatively tough SEC. His ability to put the ball in the basket, coupled with his point guard-like command of the ball has made him one of the best college prospects many have ever seen.

It does not end there, though, as he places 4th in the NCAA with 12.5 rebounds per game. Simmons possesses elite level rebounding ability which again is another reason why he is such a tantalizing prospect.

He is one of the most unique players to show up in college basketball because of how versatile he is. Due to his listed size, he is pigeon holed as a forward, however he is truly position -less. Simmons is pretty much locked in as the number 1 overall pick this summer in the NBA draft, and he figures to be a superstar in the association sooner rather than later.

 Weaknesses:

Unfortunately, like every other prospect ever, Simmons has some flaws. First off he is not really a “jump out of the gym” athlete. Simmons definitely has impressive athleticism, but not as much as a Wiggins or a LeBron.

Secondly, in college he has been leaned on to cover the opponent’s biggest guy, and he has struggled a bit. At the next level, he would not cover the other team’s center as he will use his versatility to cover smaller, perimeter forwards and should have much more success. Based on his short time at LSU however, covering the low post big man is not his strong suit.

Lastly, and this is strange, Simmons does not like to shoot. He has shot a whopping three, yes three, shots from beyond the arc. Because he is so dominant in the paint, he really does not have to throw a lot of threes up, but there definitely isn’t too much development in that area. He made one, but still his lack of attempts is glaring, especially in a league where the three is so important (see: Golden State Warriors). Granted, LeBron entered the league without a knockdown jumper and currently is still not automatic from three, but Simmons needs to prove that he can expand his game to the perimeter

Fit With Sixers:

This is the guy that will validate the Sixers rebuild. Simmons has that “elite” type potential. Sure Simmons does not necessarily fit in with the Sixers perfectly, but it is not like fitting a square peg in a round hole. The Sixers cannot afford to pass up on a generational talent like Simmons if they do in fact get the number one pick. Simmons would fit well with a guy like Noel and probably Embiid, but he could have some issues with Okafor. If the Sixers did get Simmons though, he would almost certainly become the number one most untouchable player on the roster. Croatian Dario Saric is actually similar to Simmons in that he can control the ball despite being 6’10”, but would no doubt have to take a backseat to the LSU star. All in all, Simmons is the best player that has come out of the NCAA in a while, and he could put the Sixers on a winning track once again.

 

photo credit: Kathy Willens, Associated Press

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