2016 NBA Mock Draft: Philadelphia 76ers Select Ben Simmons
Philadelphia Picks Ben Simmons With First Pick
May 18, 2016
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The Philadelphia 76ers have the first pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, and they will select Ben Simmons out of LSU. Reports indicate that the 76ers are locked in on Simmons, and he’s been widely considered a can’t miss prospect for quite some time now.
Bottom line is that the 76ers can’t mess around with this pick and can’t afford to take risks. The 76ers have won 19 or less games for three straight seasons and the fanbase is absolutely fed up for good reason. Philadelphia needs to take the polished player with terrific upside and build around him moving forward.
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That’s Simmons. A likely cornerstone of a franchise.
Simmons has great size for a kid who did just one year of college, as he’s 6’10”, 240 pounds. His combination of strength and size will allow him to play power or small forward, and it’s key when guarding multiple positions. Simmons is good off the dribble, can get to the cup without issues and finish through contact. He’s shown many times throughout his LSU career that he’s comfortable in one-on-one situations.
Simmons best trait right now would be his passing ability, as he sees the floor well and is an extremely unselfish player. Sometimes to a fault, as you’d like to see a player as talented as Simmons be a little more aggressive, but his court vision and overall ball handling are very impressive for a guy his age.
While the comparisons to LeBron James are crazy and simply aren’t fair to Simmons, he does share a lot of the same traits and clearly has modeled his game after one of the greats.
The only glaring issue with Simmons is his jumper. He isn’t comfortable at all as an outside shooter and can disappear for stretches due to a lack of confidence. Simmons must improve a reliable jumpshot to take his game to the next level which should eventually turn into a decent three-point shot. At LSU, Simmons attempted just three three-point shots, making one.
I am a little concerned with Simmons and his inability to shoot the ball due to us being in an NBA where it feels like every team is attempting 30-plus threes per game. But we have seen guys take their jumper to a consistent level in Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard. Simmons has a strong work ethic, so he should be able to improve in this area as well.
The 76ers have some promising players in Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor and possibly Joel Embiid if he ever gets healthy. Robert Covington and Jerami Grant have provided glimpses of hope as well. They now need that one guy to help balance things out and kind of lead the team in the right direction.
Simmons has one of the best players in the league potential and will allow the other players to take on their roll instead of being asked to lead the team.
There’s finally hope in Philadelphia. Simmons is coming to town.