I’m not sure how long it’s been since I’ve seen a first-year player with as much exposure, or as much advertisement, than Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons — who could soon (and finally) make his long-awaited NBA debut.
The number-one overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft fractured his right foot just during the Sixers’ training-camp. And if you somehow didn’t get to catch the former LSU prospect’s dominant Summer League highlights, here’s something to vibe to:
In four Utah Summer-League contests, Simmons averaged 12.3 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 5.5 APG, 1.5 SPG, and 0.8 BPG, on 40% shooting. He obviously had no difficulties as a floor-general, which is what should be his best attribute, other than his size and athleticism.
Throughout the last three-months or so, Simmons has been making great strides to return, as his foot has reportedly “fully-healed”, making him available to return before the All-Star break.
But the development won’t stop there for the 20-year old. It’s going to be vital for Ben to become more reliable as scorer. It wont matter too much though, since Philly is still a far-cry away from making the postseason. It’ll be quite interesting to see how his minutes will be handled, as well as the amount of games he’ll play.
Sixers’ Head Coach Brett Brown did report earlier on CSN.Philly.com that there’s “No chance” of Simmons playing on January 27th vs the Houston Rockets. This was following an earlier report from Simmons captioning eye emojis on a somewhat-controversial instagram photo.
“I am a social media hermit. I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Brown said. “But I do know that there is no chance that he will play then.”
Whether it was true or not, the wait is just over for Sixers fans. I’m just truly excited just to see how Simmons fits with the overall roster — and surely enough, he’ll have plenty of opportunities and touches to make an immediate impact.
There’s an incredible amount of potential for this group. Fom what we’ve seen Joel Embiid transforming into, to also knowing how much better he’ll get another strong player with Simmons — the opportunities are endless.
The Sixers currently sit at thirteenth in the Eastern Conference, holding a record of 13-26. Note that they’ve won five of their last seven to begin the new year. We can only hope that a upcoming superstar like Simmons, will deliver them hope post All-Star break.