Ben Simmons finally gets deserved respect with All-NBA Third Team nod

Ben Simmons
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 05: Philadelphia 76ers Guard Ben Simmons (25) looks toward the net during warmups before the Eastern Conference Semifinal Game between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers on May 05, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Ben Simmons has been named to the All-NBA third team.

The Philadelphia 76ers superstar point guard continues to stack up the awards this offseason, as he was just officially named to the All-NBA Third Team, his second national accolade over the last few days. Ben Simmons was first named to the league’s All-Defensive First Team, before now cracking one of the extremely coveted All-NBA teams for the first time in his young career.

Despite all the hatred and slander that gets regularly spewed Simmons’ way, he had a monster third season in the NBA. He nearly averaged a triple-double at 16.4 ppg, 7.8 reb, and 8.0 ast, and of course played lockdown defense all year long. He was selected to his second consecutive All-Star game, and received a small amount of “Defensive Player of the Year” consideration as well.

Simmons also saw his free throw %, field goal %, and effective field goal % all reach career-highs, while simultaneously knocking down the first two three pointers of his career. He led the entire NBA in steals per game at 2.1, and ranked towards the top of the league in almost every single “hustle” stat available (stats that reflect things like deflections, loose balls, etc.).

Simmons becomes just the 15th 76er in franchise history to receive All-NBA recognition, following the selection of teammate Joel Embiid to the Second Team in 2019. Simmons received 61 total voting points, with 9 voters naming him to the Second Team and 34 naming him to the Third Team (out of a panel of 100 voters).

Of the players who were named to teams above Simmons, only two of them were also point guards (unless you count Luka Doncic as a PG, and I don’t). Chris Paul and Damian Lillard were both selected to the Second Team, which essentially locks in Simmons as the third best PG in the NBA according to the voters. High praise for the former #1 overall pick.

The 76ers are in the midst of a coaching search at the moment, and things will undoubtedly look different for the team in 2021. Al Horford has been rumored as a heavy trade candidate, and Elton Brand has five picks in this year’s draft should he choose to use them all. For as great as being named to the Third Team is, there’s still a general consensus that Simmons has more to give.

If the Sixers can land the right coach (aka Billy Donovan), there’s no reason Simmons shouldn’t be a legit MVP candidate in the near future.

The Sixers missed Simmons bad during the playoffs, and it makes sense, considering Simmons has now cemented himself as a top-15 player in the NBA according to the voters. Even if the team doesn’t nail their next head coaching decision, having a healthy Simmons back next season will almost surely push them back towards the top of the NBA where they belong.

Interesting note: Joel Embiid was not named to an All-NBA team this season, making him ineligible for a super-max contract unless he cracks a team next year. Motivation should be at an all-time high for the big fella.

Mandatory Credit – Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire