We saw only a quick glimpse of him against the pseudo-NBA competition of Summer League, but in that window you could see how Ben Simmons could be special. He was 6’10”, had handles, and showed a vision of the game, a passing gift that cannot be taught.
Then came the Jones fracture to his foot that has sidelined him the entire season. Hopefully, next season we can see what the Sixers look like with Simmons and Joel Embiid healthy and together on the court.
What did Simmons do with his season “off?” Grow a couple inches. That’s what World B. Free, the Sixers director of player development, said during the Sixers radio broadcast recently (hat tip Ball Don’t Lie).
It seems like Ben Simmons grew about another two inches since he’s been here. I told him that the other day, I said, ‘Ben, you look like you’ve grown another two inches since you’ve been here.’ His arms are long, he’s lean, he’s in shape. When I watched him in practice — just in practice — he’s like a baby Magic Johnson.
You would be right to be skeptical of that, but Jon Johnson, who helps cover the Sixers for 94 WIP Radio in Philly, went and asked the man himself.
So Simmons is basically Kevin Durant‘s size.
It’s not uncommon for one-and-done players to grow a little more once in the NBA (often their diet improves too, which helps). Simmons just needs to work on filling out the frame a little.
I cannot wait to see Simmons’ career unfold. He should pour a shot of rum for Jobu or whatever deity he chooses in an offering to stay healthy next season.