BEN SIMMONS, SMALL FORWARD, LSU
Ben Simmons, SF, LSU – First Team All SEC, National Freshman of the Year, 1st Team All-American. Simmons averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game.
Pelicans fans can dream, can’t they?
Simmons is one person in this draft that would help out the Pelicans on and off the court. The Aussie-born superstar Simmons will be a Top 2 pick and unless Demps can trade up, he’ll be long gone by the time the Pelicans pick at #6.
Simmons’ game mirrors that of NBA superstar Lebron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Simmons is a player the entire New Orleans region and state of Louisiana would rally around, and energize the Pelicans franchise and fan base.
He’s an elite talent but he needs to work on and refine his game, especially his jump shot. Simmons shot 33% from 3point line, 67% Free throws, and average 3 TO’s a game. Simmons is a young player that can learn and develop into a superstar.
Most young players are going to have holes in their game. But any coach worth their salt can harness and develop Simmons into a superstar. Simmons in the NBA will initially see teams back off him and dare him to beat them with his outside shot.
The rumblings are is he assertive enough or he didn’t he do enough to help LSU win games?
Simmons’ motor and heart (in some circles) has been questioned. At the end of LSU’s year, was Simmons disinterested? Was it the scheme, was it the coaching, was it the situation he tired of?
LSU’s team success was disappointing, but Simmons shouldn’t shoulder all of that blame. Simmons averaged a double double and was National Player of the year. Once he gets used to the pro game and what his team requires of him? The sky is the limit.
Simmons is an extremely good ball handler and passer. Simmons can get over and around defenders with both hands. Simmons can start and finish fast breaks.
Simmons is very good in the half court game. He finds his teammates in good positions and is willing to make the extra pass and able to get teammates open by using his eyes to look off defenders.
Simmons can be a primary ball handler a point forward if you will. In the post he has the court vision to make the proper pass to cutting teammates, but needs to improve his moves on the block.
Simmons has good quickness and quick hands so he’s a threat on both ends of the floor. Simmons has all the tools to make him an elite player, and helps initiate any team’s offense.
Essentially, Simmons is a “Swiss Army knife” — because there isn’t much that he can’t do. Today’s NBA is more about spacing, and ball movement. Physically, Simmons is ready to be a very good NBA player. The mental aspects and not being the best player on the floor (initially) will test his mettle.
Next: Option C