The Struggle of Ben Simmons

Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons plays during Game 7 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

It’s no secret to NBA fans all over how disappointing Ben Simmons has been, 4 years into his career. Which is ironic to say because in these four years, Simmons is a 3x All-Star, 2x All-Defensive First Team selection, ROTY, Steals Leader, and a 1x All-NBA Third Team selection. But despite all these accolades Simmons is one of the most disappointing #1 overall picks in recent history. One of the reasons that NBA fans find Simmons to be such a let-down is the fact that he has all the tools to take skill jump. Simmons does almost everything well on the court. He is a great passer, rebounder, defender, and finisher. But his lack of shooting ability and passiveness on the court often negate all the other good things he does on the court. In fact, during the 2021 playoffs, Simmons shot 34% from the free throw line, which was the worst percentage from any NBA player EVER in the playoffs (at least 70 attempts.) Additionally he averaged only 11 points per game throughout the entire playoffs which is so upsetting because we know what he is capable of. Simmons is the same guy who dropped a 42 point career high against the Utah Jazz earlier this season. And what made that even more impressive was the fact that Simmons, a guy who scores almost all of his points in the paint, did that against the best rim protector in the NBA, aka the 2021 DPOY, Rudy Gobert. But unfortunately, that was not the Simmons that showed up during the NBA playoffs. And sadly for Sixers fans, despite Embiid’s incredible MVP caliber season and performance during the ECF (despite a torn meniscus) the Sixers were sent home due to the lack of help that Embiid received throughout the series.

So where do the Sixers go from now? Well, firstly they are going to have to trade Simmons. At this point, it is more than evident that the Embiid and Simmons experiment is not working out. Embiid is the type of player who needs to partnered with another Harden/Beal/Lavine-esque player who can create his own shot and be an elite scorer. And although many people think that giving up Simmons for one of these guys would weaken the team’s defense. But at this point that should not be a concern. The Sixers should look to get their Shaq (Embiid) his Kobe. Because with the ongoing injury concerns of Embiid, they are going to need another closer and efficient bucket getter who can carry the load when Embiid has an off-night. With all due respect to Tobias Harris of course. I think Daryl Morey certainly has his work cutout for him as he does have a history of making the necessary trades to please his leading man like he did with Harden in Houston. And although he may have fumbled by not trading Simmons for Harden while Simmons’ value was still high, he can still redeem himself this offseason by pulling off a trade to get Embiid some more help.

As for now, Simmons needs to lock himself in the gym and practice jumpers and free throws until his arms fall off because as long as he is on that team, they will not be able to reach their maximum potential until he improves his shot. Stay tuned to our site for future articles in which we discuss potential Ben Simmons trade.

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