Many people are waiting to see what will happen to Ben Simmons this year and whether or not he will be traded out of Philly. After the 76ers lost to the Atlanta Hawks, heavy criticism of Ben Simmons came not only from the media, but some questions from his own team came up during the post game interview. Head coach Doc Rivers was asked whether Simmons is a championship level point guard the 76ers need, and he said he wasn’t sure if Simmons is. Co-star Joel Embiid also threw Simmons under the bus when asked, when did he felt was the turning point for the team. Embiid replied without mentioning Simmons’ name, but it was clearly directed towards him. But this doubt didn’t begin here. During the Harden and Houston drama, there was a trade offer for Ben Simmons and some other players for James Harden. Since Simmons was on the chopping block for a trade, he might’ve felt betrayed by this but he handled the situation like a professional and continued to play. But even though he continued to play without any complaints, that doesn’t mean the thought of moving him as disappeared.
The Issue with Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons is without a doubt a talented player however, when people talk about him, they talk about his potential, not his current state. Ben Simmons is a 6′ 11″ point guard who can play great defense and pass the ball, but he’s offensively challenged. Every year people say if he can develop a shot, he’ll be unstoppable. Another thing people say is that he is unstoppable he if goes downhill, drives in, or post up on the mismatch. The issue with people saying that, is that he isn’t doing either one. He isn’t getting better at shooting. He averaged about 16 points for most of his career, note it’s not improving every year, and he averaged 5 free throws a game on 60% shooting. Meaning that almost a third of his points are coming from free throws and the rest are from layups and close to the basket shots, which he’s only shooting at 58% at best. For comparison, Giannis, who at least trys to take shots outside the paint, is shooting above 55% and above 60% free throws. Clint Capela, center for the Atlanta Hawks, is averages around 60% from the field and about 53% from the free throw. So Ben Simmons is trying to play the role of a point guard but is shooting like an average center. Also his points averages isn’t improving every year, in fact his shot attempts has increased either. If you look at his stats year by year, they are nearly identical. So he isn’t doing anything to either improve or change.
So when people say that he should drive in or post up more, there is not point if he isn’t aggressive enough and his shooting isn’t improving. It seems like he is content at what he is doing right now, which is the issue. Players around his age are improving every year and gives their team more and more. For example, Lonzo Ball. Ball’s biggest issue coming into the league is his shooting. Ball couldn’t make his shots and when he realize his shots isn’t falling, he lost the confidence to shoot. His rookie season he averaged 10.2 points, 36% from the field, 30% shooting the three, and 45% from the free throw. Now he is averaging 14.6 points, 41% from the field, 37.8% shooting the three, and 78% from the free throw. Lonzo Ball knew the way he shot the ball isn’t working out in the league, so every year we see him improve his form. We can see his hard work pay off. Another young player with drastic improvements is Dejounte Murray who went from averaging 3.4 points his rookie season to 15.7 points. Many players around his age and class are expected to be the new face of the NBA when players like Lebron and KD are retired, but with the slow pace Simmons is moving, it looks like he’ll be left in the dust.
What Now for Simmons?
I personally thought the 76ers should’ve traded Simmons a long time ago, but here we are with this mess of a situation. What I don’t understand is that Simmons is acting as if 76ers betrayed him or backstabbed him for all the “hard work” he has done for the organization. It should be the 76ers who feels like they lost because they and the fans invested so much time and hope into him, only for him to fall short on his goals and not do anything about it. I would understand his the 76ers didn’t give Simmons more help for him to succeed, however this isn’t the case. The 76ers had great teams built around Simmons, such as having Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, Al Horford, JJ Reddick, Seth Curry, Danny Green, and Robert Covington. They gave Simmons time to improve, but I think the 76ers’ patience for him as run out and it’s time for both to move on. Simmons stated he will not play for the team anymore and wants to be traded to a team in California. I believe the Clippers would be the most likely team he would go to, if he gets to be traded to California. The Warriors already has a facilitator in Draymond, the Lakers are already set unless they trade more of their young cast, and the Kings probably won’t let go of De’Aaron Fox.
We’ll keep an eye out on where he’ll land and watch this story unfold. Where do you think Ben Simmons will be traded to, or if he will be traded at all?
We appreciate y’all for letting us be a part of your Break Time.
Signing off, JT