Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons Will Star In His Own Way

Jul 12, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Ben Simmons (25) dribbles the ball during an NBA Summer League game against the Golden State Warriors at Thomas & Mack Center. Golden State won the game 85-77. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 12, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Ben Simmons (25) dribbles the ball during an NBA Summer League game against the Golden State Warriors at Thomas & Mack Center. Golden State won the game 85-77. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports /

The Philadelphia 76ers long drought of finding a cornerstone player is over in the form of point forward Ben Simmons, but the Draymond Green comparisons are unreasonable.

The Philadelphia 76ers will go into the next few years with confidence as long as Ben Simmons is at the forefront of the team. In his summer league play, Simmons showed a knack for highlight-reel passing and incredible handles.

The lack in scoring numbers of Ben Simmons did halt many in the national media to give the former LSU star the “cornerstone player of the Philadelphia 76ers” title, which is fair criticism this early in his career. Simmons before the draft has garnered comparisons of basketball legends such as Magic Johnson and LeBron James due to his incredible passing ability at such an incredible size.

Simmons will continue to battle these comparisons throughout his whole career, but recently he drew some comparisons to Golden State Warriors swiss-army knife Draymond Green. Jason McIntyre wrote a damning article saying that if Simmons only manages to produce at the rate Green produces for the Warriors, he’d become a bust.

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Now, of course, comparing what a top overall pick does compared to a surprise second rounder will always lead to a theme of disappointment, but the comparison overall has little similarities in situation. Green came to a Golden State team in 2012 that was on the brink of breaking out, and they did just that by improving their win total by 24 wins. Green’s rise to the top ten of the NBA did not come until the 2014-15 season, where Green impacted on both sides of the ball and was able to stretch the defense in multiple ways on offense.

Green was not just a “side dish” as Colin Cowherd implied on the video in the article, rather he was a key part to an indestructible machine. Green’s per 36 minutes that championship season had the versatile forward at 13.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, 4.2 assist, 1.4 blocks, and 1.8 steals.

Green was putting in a ridiculous amount of productivity and efficiency, putting himself among the most important pieces to a historic team.

Simmons, on the other hand, comes into a Philadelphia 76ers team with little to no expectations but individual praise. Polar opposite from Green’s situation. Simmons and Green play totally different games. Simmons has the ability to be the main ball-handler on a team with his facilitating being the focal point of the offense in contrast to Green’s rebound and shooting ability.

Simmons can put up similar productivity to Green and still be the star of the team just because of the situation he’s in. Simmons scoring numbers don’t have to be 20 points per game, or even 17 per game. His stardom comes in different ways than Green. The article assumes that Simmons will be easier to guard than other stars because of his lack of jump shooting.

This completely dismisses the fact that Simmons’ form shows promise for development, but even if that doesn’t pan out it’s hard to place too many defenders that can guard a 6’10” point forward with ease. Simmons is quick enough to get by almost anyone, and even if he fails to do so can affect the offense with his pristine court vision.

Green and Simmons are almost incomparable in every way imaginable. A more reasonable comparison is between Simmons and point forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo is more of an attacking point forward with more athletic ability, while Simmons is a somewhat more grounded visionary at point forward. There are questions to whether Simmons will ever amount to what Antetokounmpo currently brings to the game and excel with the Philadelphia 76ers offense the same way Milwuakee maximizes their star.

This is a fair question ask depending on many variables, including how you view Antetokounmpo currently and what Ben Simmons’ ceiling is. Simmons being significantly better than what Antetokounmpo is up for debate, but if he becomes what Antetokounmpo is now or even a little lesser, the team would still don the “star” tag on him.

What makes a star is his team around him, and the Philadelphia 76ers will continue to wring in talent that suits Simmons’ game. Bryan Colangelo has already done a decent job at putting veterans that could complement the rookie this season, as the Philadelphia 76ers try to make an extra push this upcoming season.

The Philadelphia 76ers will still be led by Ben Simmons even if his productivity is at Draymond Green’s or Giannis Antetokounmpo’s level. Simmons passing allows him to become the star without putting points up. What should really be looked at are the points Simmons is responsible due to scoring and passing. That’s what makes a star, not stats.

Next: What Happens To The Sixers Roster?

Simmons will better the Philadelphia 76ers in his own ways, so frivolous comparisons must start to die in the background.