Ben Simmons’ Summer League shows that he’s a Potential Superstar

Ben Simmons’ Summer League shows that he’s a Potential Superstar

This week Ben Simmons wasbeing named to the All-NBA Summer League First Team (former NBL player Jordan McCrae and Australian Thon Maker also made the second team), signalling his step into NBA superstardom.

 

Anyone who watched Simmons take on fellow members of his draft class it was easy to see Simmons has all the tools required of a genuine superstar in the NBA.

 

Philadelphia 76ers and former Australia Boomers coach Brett Brown recently praised the young victorian’s abilities to control an offence.

 

 “When I say point guard I mean point guard. You’ve got the ball. You could call him Isiah Thomas, the old Isiah Thomas of my generation. You could call him Chris Paul. I mean point guard point guard. There are times I think that he can be a point guard. Not Draymond Green. Not LeBron. Not Lamar Odom. That’s a point forward.”

 

Simmons playmaking and passes during the summer league have been spectacular. The no-look handoffs and cross court assists made me think of that “point god swagger” Jason Williams had in Sacramento a decade ago. That ability to be looking for the best pass and the opportunity to look good.

 

 

Simmons finished fourth in assists per game in the NBA summer league. The only players who played more than two games and had more dimes dropped than Simmons were at least eight inches shorter than him and listed as point guards, Simmons as well know is neither.

 

He rounded out the stats box by also averaging 12.2 points, 7.8 rebounds (13th), 1.5 steals and 0.7 blocks.

 

The give some insight into how good Simmons was at controlling the offence in Summer League, by putting up the assist numbers he did, Simmons now ranks 16th all time for assists in the NBA Summer League.

 

Simmons sits above Damian Lillard, Goran Dragic and is equal with one of the all-time great NBA passers in Chris Paul.  Granted that summer league does not indicate how well a player will do for the rest of their career, it’s an outstanding start to his NBA career.

 

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Simmons still has his critics, however. The biggest knock still being his shooting touch or lack thereof.

 

His shooting woes have been well documented throughout his college career with LSU and in four summer league games he didn’t shoot very well, going 40.9% from the field.  Just under 41%, field goal shooting is not good for an NBA player but it isn’t career threatening.

 

Going back to the summer league all-time performances, the fifteen players who are above Simmons in assists, only four of them shot a better percentage than Simmons. NBA stars like Chris Paul, John Wall and Kemba Walker all pale in comparison offensively to Simmons when comparing their summer league efforts.

 

He may not be a good shooter in his NBA first season but going off summer league to NBA history, he is in reasonable company.

1466726614705Simmons may have had one of the best statistical seasons for a freshman in NCAA history, his game will increase exponentially with the increased talent he will be playing with.

 

Trading a team that didn’t make the NCAA Tournament for one with the likes of Jahlil Okafor, Nerles Noel, Jerryd Bayless and hopefully Joel Embiid will do wonders for Simmons’ passing ability.

 

Instead of doing everything for the team (Simmons lead LSU in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals), he will have more freedom to make the right pass and have the receiver make the right move to score the basket, which didn’t happen often at LSU.  The combination of Simmons, Okafor, and Noel manning the frontcourt is a mouth-watering thought.

 

There may have been some doubt near the NBA draft about the feasibility of an elite 6’10” point guard with poor shooting skills but seeing Ben Simmons in action in the summer league has proven that his game is already at an outstanding level and will continue to rise to the top of the world of basketball.

 

Watching him play next season for Philadelphia will give all Australians pleasant thoughts of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where he will be front a centre for a team gunning for a medal.

 

Watching him play next season for Philadelphia will give all Australians pleasant thoughts of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where he will be front a centre for a team gunning for a medal.

 

Author: Kyle Abbott (64 Posts)

Kyle has barracked for the North Melbourne Giants, Victoria Titans, Victoria Giants and the South Dragons. He's hoping the Melbourne United don't fold like the rest of them