It took three seasons, millions lost in ticket and memorabilia sales, the franchise and their former general manager became the laughing stock of the NBA, but it finally happened. The Sixers are the proud owners of the number one pick in this year’s NBA draft.
It took the team nearly breaking the NBA record for worst single season record, but they FINALLY have the first overall pick in the draft.
Now there’s only the matter of deciding who become’s the new face of the franchise: Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram?
Both come with their positives and neither is true “can’t miss” prospect, but after the Trail of Tears Sixers fans had to endure known as the Process the choice absolutely, unequivocally has to be one Mr. Benjamin Simmons.
Don’t get me wrong, I get the hype with Brandon Ingram.
A KD lookalike, with a 7’3 wing span, and a silky smooth jumper, what’s not to love? But let’s be real, dude ain’t no Ben Simmons.
For all that is being made of Brandon Ingram’s scoring prowess, the guy didn’t even lead Duke in scoring last year. That honor went to Ted Cruz’s doppelgänger. There were times when Ingram would disappear for stretches and he could be contained on occasion by more elite defenses.
It’s true Ingram has a chance to be a monster in the NBA, but Ben Simmons has a chance to be a real Monstar. (That’s a Space Jam reference btw)
I mean yes, Ingram is a better scorer than Simmons in nearly every facet. Simmons probably has him beat as a slasher and in the paint, but in terms of shooting, isolation scoring, off-ball offense, it’s all Ingram.
And yes, Ingram has Simmons beat on defense as well. For now. Simmons’ athleticism and rebounding ability should change that in time. (DUDE GETS DEFENSIVE BOARDS LIKE A MAD MAN)
But outside of those two areas, Ben Simmons checks out every box. He can pass, rebound, and score at a high level. Anytime he steps on the court, he’s liable to record a triple double.
I knew he was pretty close to the real deal in LSU’s loss to NC State, their fifth game of the season, where Simmons was held to just four points, but still managed a double-double with 14 rebounds and 10 assists.
The man is 6’10, 240 lbs and can do things someone his size shouldn’t. He is a power forward with the skill set of a point guard. The guy can handle the ball as well as any guard prospect in this draft and his vision may be better than all of them. Seriously, it’s like Simmons has eyes on the back of his head and they’re wearing night vision goggles.
His ability to set up in the half court and push the pace would work very well in the Sixers all pace system. Plus, Brett Brown has Australian ties which are very much worth noting.
Simmons can realistically play anywhere from the 1-5 and maybe even some small ball 6; if you can consider a guy a few inches below 7’0 small. And he isn’t even tweener; HE’S JUST A MATCH UP NIGHTMARE.
Im not sure if Ben Simmons will ever be the scorer Brandon Ingram is, but I doubt Ingram’s game will ever be as complete as Simmons’.
I never feel comfortable comparing prospects to LeBron because it happens too often and it’s almost never an apt comparison, but I think Simmon’s athleticism and play making ability are very reminiscent of the four time MVP.
Simmons isn’t a perfect prospect, but I feel the faults in his game are more nit picky than real short comings honestly.
His jump shot needs some work, which is a big reason why some Sixers fans are quick to call for Brandon Ingram instead, but it is very far from broken; it’s just untested. Get the guy in the gym taking a couple hundred shots a day and Im sure things will start to straighten out.
Then there’s the whole issue about his leadership and commitment, which honestly makes me laugh.
“Why didn’t LSU make it to the tournament, if Ben Simmons was so good why didn’t he play in March?”
Simple answer, LSU SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKED.
At the start of the NCAA season, it only took about two weeks for people to realize that Ben Simmons probably wasn’t going to be playing March basketball. Picking LSU was a bad choice by Simmons and I think he’d probably admit to it as well. It was almost as if LSU got Simmons and was like “K, this guy’ll win us a championship. Let’s take a load off and let the kid go to work.”
“How come his play started to taper off towards the end of the season? Was he ever even committed to that team?”
Ben Simmons was an 18 year old who was projected to go in the top three of the draft from the moment he signed his letter of intent, how much pointless basketball do you think you’d be able to stomach before throwing in the towel and getting ready for the pros. I think this is a case of what I call Jadaveon Clowney disorder where a player slowly starts playing less than he’s able to because he’s got the draft on his mind and begins to become preoccupied. The kid had already realized his dream, it was only a matter of treading water until he could achieve it.
Simmons was also failing a lot of his classes at LSU, but I don’t think the guy’s dumb he was just preoccupied with bigger things.
Oh and then there’s the matter of the Ben Simmons documentary that was being filmed during the season. Can’t imagine that was a distraction whatsoever.
Still, I think Simmons’ end of the season play was a little overblown honestly. He scored 20 or more in six of his last 10 games and averaged a double-double in seven. These are the numbers that made him go from an elite prospect to just really good; go figure.
Brandon Ingram is a great scorer who could become one of the best in the NBA, but that’s all he’ll ever be; a scorer. You look at players like Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant who have had great careers but have always come up short in terms of chasing an NBA title. They are both great players in the own right, two of the best the NBA has to offer, but they can’t reach the top of the league on their own.
Ben Simmons on the other hand has a skill set that would allow him to be so much more, he is the type of player that will make all those around him better. Simmons is that type of player that ends up attracting Ingram types in free agency because he can compliment them so well.
If you look back at the NBA finals a big reason the Cavaliers were able to come back from a 3-1 deficit was because of a heavy dose of LeBron James playing the point. It placed the ball in his hands at the start of each possession and just let him go HAM. The Sixers could do great things if they were to play Simmons in a similar role.
Ben Simmons is the reason we suffered through the Process. He is the type of rare, mouth watering talent that actually gives you championship hopes. The whole point of the Process was to go and get the next big thing, cost be damned. After three seasons of watching a once great franchise rot and get picked apart by vultures, that franchise cornerstone player falls into their lap and people want to pass on him because Ingram is the safer choice; SMH people, SMfreakinH.
It took 199 losses to get the Sixers where they are now, the time for playing it safe went out the window as soon as the Process started.
Taking Brandon Ingram would be drafting for need and in the realm of draft culture that is one of the biggest mortal sins. The Sixers are desperate for a legit three point threat and help on the wing, but they can’t pass up the best player on the board.
The Process was drafting three straight centers because they were the best player available and worrying about the consequences later. People point to this front court log jam as a reason for avoiding Simmons because he’s listed at the four, but just because he’s a big man doesn’t mean he’s actually a big man. I see Simmons as more of a position less player due to his versatility which opens even more doors in terms how you can build your team going forward.
Brandon Ingram may never be nothing more than a Jabari Parker type, while Simmons is more than likely going to be the most talented player on whatever team he goes to.
The Process is now officially dead, Sam Hinkie is gone, but Ben Simmons keeps their memory alive. He embodies everything the Process sought to achieve. He’s the player that could bring together all of the Sixers’ assets and actually make them into a team.
Wether he turns out to be a rich man’s Lamar Odom, a poor man’s LeBron James, or maybe even the second coming of Magic Johnson, all I know is anything else would be an insult to the Process itself.
Ben Simmons has the skill set where if you pass on him and his jump shot comes around people are gonna be out of a job. Bryan Colangelo has had a suspect start as the Sixers’ new GM, but his job will be so much easier if he just picks Ben Simmons.