For years, a constant debate surrounding the Philadelphia 76ers has been whether or not Ben Simmons needs to shoot more threes. Simmons’ jumper has been a weakness ever since he came into the league, but instead of being a poor shooter, Simmons just straight up does not let it rip from downtown — in his four-year career, Simmons is 5-for-34 from three, with 11 of those attempts coming during his rookie season.
There are two schools of thought here. One is that Simmons is already an All-Star basketball player without a jumper and should be viewed as such, the other is that his lack of a jumper will forever make him a basketball player with a hard ceiling. Regardless, an offseason tradition reared its head on Monday when a video popped up of Simmons working on his jumper in an empty gym. Simmons and Rajon Rondo were both getting some shots up, with Simmons knocking down both of his attempts from deep.
Simmons has explained his hesitancy to shoot threes in games before, telling Jackie MacMullan of ESPN last year, “With 3s, it’s never been like that. I’ve got to make it a point of emphasis. I could be one of those guys shooting 30% right now. But I’d rather be one of those guys shooting 40%.”
Of course, the sample we have from his NBA career — and admittedly very small one — shows that Simmons hasn’t cracked half that so far in his NBA career. The question he has to answer now is whether these little steps forward he appears to be in the midst of taking during the offseason can translate to practices and games. By no means does he need to be Joe Harris or anything, and one can make the case he doesn’t really need to let it fly from deep, anyway. But this would be a big tool for Simmons to add to his tool kit, and we’re only a few months away from figuring out if Simmons will have it when next season begins.