After years of tanking, the Philadelphia 76ers are left with one question: Was all of that losing worth it? It’s a complicated answer.
Ben Simmons was by far the No. 1 prospect in this year’s draft, and when the lottery balls bounced their way, Philly found themselves their star for the future. Had they fallen anywhere below the first pick, their situation would still look shaky at best.
With Simmons in the fold, there are good things ahead for them.
There are clear holes in his game – like his awful looking jump shot, and his hesitance to use it. But that’s something that can be fixed.
Something that can’t be taught is Simmons’ court vision – which is pretty remarkable.
While the flashy passes are pretty in summer league, they are something that will become a trademark for Simmons. He doesn’t have the talent around him yet, but Simmons’ court vision and passing ability is the kind of asset that will make the players around him better. Once you surround him with players that can shoot, score, and make plays, he’s going to make those guys significantly better.
An Eastern Conference NBA executive recently expressed a similar belief. “He’s super impressive,” said an Eastern Conference executive. “He’s going to make everyone on his team better.”
The Sixers have been a lame excuse for a basketball team these past few seasons, but the truth of the matter is that being an average NBA team is not good for the future of the franchise.
The tanking is behind them, and the Sixers finally have a star to build around. Now it’s time to watch him grow.