— Philadelphia 76ers (@Sixers) July 8, 2016
For draft nerds and Sixers fans, it might have felt like Ben Simmons was forever merely a possibility. First as a potential draft pick, and for the last few weeks as a potential building block for Philadelphia. But now, he’s finally on the court — albeit at Summer League — and he’s dropping jaws already with his passing. Above are highlights from his second game in a Sixers uniform, such as it is, and below are some truly eye-popping dishes from his first game.
You simply can’t teach elite court vision like that. It’s the one skill we knew for a fact he had coming out of college, but it’s still another thing to do it against more skilled opponents. Summer League isn’t quite the NBA proper, but there’s still more talent on the court than in any NCAA game Simmons ever played. After two games, he’s already displayed a skill for skip passing around the perimeter that ESPN’s Kevin Pelton says only LeBron James really has.
Of course, he’s also only shot 4-of-17 from the field, but if he sticks at point guard like Sixers coach Brett Brown says he will (BLOCK OUT THE SUN), it will matter slightly less. His size will force other power forwards to guard him, which means that Philly theoretically can play three wing shooters around him to keep the floor spaced. With passing like that, there will be open men.