This is not the first time Ben Simmons had his “own” team as many fans wondered what a roster built around his skills would look like. This is the first time he’s been, um, the brand name of an NBA franchise, but he was the No. 1 guy at LSU, and he lost his chance to be the engine of the Australian national team.
Simmons’ supernatural athleticism made him the prospect that he was, and everyone fell in love with his passing, overlooking the fact that maybe he was so good at finding open teammates because he didn’t want to expose his fatal flaw.
The lack of shooting wasn’t Ben Simmons’ downfall
Being a poor shooter isn’t Simmons’ Achilles heel. It’s that he never got better, and if anything he got worse. It is now unquestionably less effective than it was Philadelphiaand whatever happened during the hiatus that brought him to Brooklyn accelerated the rate at which his game atrophied.
Look, he’s clearly one of the most athletically gifted players we’ve seen. He is 6-foot-10 and has excellent balance, strength and speed. He can guard all five positions, pass and is/was a monster in transition.
There were games like A 76er when Joel Embiid was out, Simmons would turn it into a running game, and fans wondered if he could do it full time. If he could be the center of the offense and give the impression of a taller Jason Kidd.
I think we can safely end that fantasy, and maybe his career as well.
Simmons is unplayable to the point of being out of the league
Nets coach Jacque Vaughn gave Simmons just 12 minutes on the court in Brooklyn’s loss to the Knicks on Monday, and after the game removed the risks playing tricks on his highest paid guy.
“We will have to do some work. Because, just look at how the lineups could potentially look. Put another big one next to Ben and then you have to figure out how much space there is around it. Then if you put another playmaker next to him, then you have to understand what Ben looks like without the basketball. Then if you’re going to be small with Ben, then you have to figure out if you can recover enough with him?”
It’s so damning it might as well be an indictment. So the only scenario where Simmons gets minutes is if he has the ball in his hands the entire time? Then you think he’ll continue to miss open layups in the late game because he’s deathly afraid of going to the lane. After all, it’s a wonder Vaughn found him 12 minutes at all.
Simmons has two years and $78 million left on his contract and will have no suitors until his contract expires. Even then, I could see some organization taking Simmons and telling him to stay away because he’s a sunk cost.
You can’t rehabilitate someone who doesn’t want to change. God, I sound like I’m talking about an addict. Not, this is not a guy with a drug problem, that’s an uncoachable basketball player. A former first-round pick, Rookie of the Year, All-NBA and defense guy who hasn’t suffered a major injury but is in danger of having his career cut short for reasons no one, probably not even Simmons, understands.