Yes, I know Ben Simmons doesn’t shoot threes, and I will address that point shortly. But for just a second, let’s look at the things he actually excels at. Simmons is currently (in just his second season playing in the NBA) one of the most talented passers in the entire league. He has full-court vision, and the value of the plays he creates offensively cannot be understated.
Standing at 6′ 10″ while weighing 238 lbs. and possessing a whopping seven-foot wingspan combined with an elite combination of speed, athleticism, and acceleration, Simmons also happens to be one of the best finishers at the rim as well as one of the NBA’s most impressive athletes overall. Hence why he drew some comparisons to LeBron coming out of LSU.
This season, Simmons is 17th in rebounds per game (9.5), 12th in field goal percentage (0.571), and third in assists per game (8.2). Simmons also reached 20 triple-doubles quicker than Magic Johnson as he hit 20 after playing 129 games while Magic had 17 after playing in 129.
He also became a member of the 2,000 points/1,000 rebounds/1,000 assists club faster than both Magic and LeBron.
Additionally, in Simmons’ first 100 games he had over 500 more points than Kobe Bryant had in his first 100 while shooting at a better percentage (1570 on 54.5% compared to Kobe’s 1048 on 42.5%), over 300 more rebounds than Dennis Rodman had in his first 100 (833 compared to Rodman’s 508), more steals than John Stockton had in his first 100 (165 compared to Stockton’s 155), and more blocks than Ben Wallace had in his first 100 games (85 compared to Wallace’s 79).
Yes, he played more minutes than Kobe did in his first 100 games and is taller than Dennis Rodman, so their accomplishments might be considered more impressive by some. But regardless of how you nitpick those stats, you know what most scouts and GMs would think of a player who in his first 100 games had more points than Kobe while shooting better, more rebounds than Dennis Rodman, more steals than John Stockton, and more blocks than Ben Wallace? They would likely call him a consensus number one overall pick.
And waddaya fuckin know, that’s just how many experts viewed him coming out of the draft and that’s exactly how he was drafted.
Now, let’s get back to this “he doesn’t shoot threes argument”. First off, on a team with Landry Shamet, J.J. Redick, and Jimmy Butler what the hell is the point of Simmons also taking a shit ton of threes? In fact, Simmons leads the league in assists that result in three-pointers with an average of 3.57 of such assists per game as a result of his willingness to dish it to Shamet, Redick, and Butler when they have open looks (Westbrook is second with a 3.49 average).
Furthermore, Simmons is in the midst of just his second NBA season. Just because he doesn’t shoot threes now doesn’t mean he will NEVER shoot/make threes. The kid has NBA legends coming out of the woodwork saying they would love to help his jumper.
I’m not saying Tracy McGrady or anyone else will magically fix his jump shot, but are you really going to bet that an immensely talented second-year player and former number-one overall pick isn’t going to improve his shooting as his career continues? The guy has every summer/offseason to do nothing but work on his shooting if he wants to (considering that is basically his only major flaw).
Point being, if your argument for trading Simmons centers around his shooting, then your argument is thinner than a pound of damn phyllo dough. Look up what phyllo is while you’re at it.