When Ben Simmons was drafted first overall in 2016, there were extraordinarily high hopes for him at the Philadelphia 76ers. He was compared to the likes of Magic Johnson and Lebron James, the tall point forward who could do it all.
Unfortunately, due to a foot injury, NBA fans weren’t able to witness this hype as he was sidelined for the entire 2016/17 season. But speaking at the Las Vegas Summer League, 76ers coach Brett Brown still has high hopes for the kid from Melbourne for the next regular season.
“I would sit with him in a classroom format, [saying] ‘here’s the ball, what do you see?’ And he did extensive film work. He’s done physical stuff with his foot, just strength and conditioning and then a major attention to his shot.” – Brett Brown
That last part should come as good news for Sixers and Australian fans, as his jump shot has always been seen as one of his weaknesses. If Simmons can improve his jump shot, then the rest of his outstanding skills, such as his passing and driving, will become much more potent.
Brown didn’t reveal whether Simmons will be 100% healthy for the opening day of the regular season, but he was very positive about Simmons’ recovery.
“He has been playing, and he was one of the highlights for all of us, especially me, in the month of June. Incrementally he was able to play basketball one on one, two on two and then five on five.
“We’ve enjoyed a really good month of just watching him play basketball, his spirits are extremely high, and we have very high hopes for him I think he’s going to be very special.”
With approximately three months until the NBA’s regular season, it sounds like fans will finally be able to see the potential that coaches and scouts around the league were salivating over twelve months ago.