Ben Simmons is fresh off of having one of the most productive seasons in College Basketball, being the first player since 1986 to average over 19 points, 11 assists and four rebounds per game. While his individual numbers are impressive and efficient, it remains puzzling as to how the LSU Tigers went only 19-14, then subsequently being blown out by Texas A&M in the SEC semifinals.
Aren't great players supposed to make everyone around them better?
Nevertheless, Simmons shows incredible vision with the ball and can rebound with the best forwards in the league, standing at six-foot-10 and weighing 240 pounds. Simmons is great with the ball in his hands and can lead the fast break with superb quickness for someone his size.
Down low, Simmons is fantastic. His footwork and right handed hook shot is elite, but it remains a question as to how this will translate in the NBA. An NBA team can run only so many isolation plays before the opposing defense starts to catch on.
Outside of the post and around the three-point line is the weakest part of Simmons' game. According to Draft Express, since the 2012 FIBA U-17 World Championship, Simmons has shot 24% (12-50) from deep, and has shown little progress in the development of his shot.
Defensively, just by his stats alone you can tell Simmons exceeds at this end. Simmons averages 12.9 rebounds, 2.1 steals and .9 blocks per-40 minutes. However, Simmons has the tendency to play lazy basketball. He won't defend and move his feet like he is capable of, and can be limited in the half-court. But when Simmons is motivated and playing, he is an elite defender.
As far out as a year ago, NBA fans have heard that Simmons is a once-in-a-generational type of talent. However, I do not think that is the case. There is no question that he is a fantastic player and has the ability to progress into one of the better players in the NBA, but Simmons is not Lebron James and should not be compared to him.
As a likely top 2 pick, the Celtics will need some luck with the ping pong balls if they want to select Simmons. However, if I am Danny Ainge, I am looking to trade Simmons because he will be drastically overvalued around the league.