Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons is a 2019 All-Star Game lock

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Recently on The Jump, the panel discussed which player has the best chance of making their first All-Star Game in 2019. The correct answer is Ben Simmons

Last season, 14 players, including Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, represented the Eastern Conference in the 2018 All-Star Game.

None of those players were Ben Simmons.

While it’s not incredibly common for a player to make an All-Star team in their first season in the league, with the last to do so being a then-LA Clippers forward Blake Griffin, it was, shall we say, unfortunate that the league opted to add players like Kemba Walker, and even Miami Heat point guard Goran Dragic as injury replacements for Demarcus Cousins and Kristaps Porzingis over everyone’s favorite Australian point forward.

More from Philadelphia 76ers

That mistake will not be repeated in 2019.

Need proof from someone other than yours truly? Look no further than ESPN’s The Jump, as, on a recent episode of the show, the panel, composed of Cassidy Hubbarth, Ramona Shelburne, and Chris Haynes discussed which player has the best chance of actually making an All-Star Game in 2019 for the first time.

Unsurprisingly, Simmons as the popular choice.

Sure, other names like Devin Booker, Donovan Mitchell, and even weirdly enough Zach LaVine were mentioned as potential first-time All-Stars, but extenuating circumstances, like playing in the Western Conference, or, you know, just not being that good, will likely hold these players out of the game.

Another player mentioned in the conversation, Jayson Tatum, will likely also take a step back in 2018-2019, as he will surely be forced to play a much smaller role on a Boston Celtics squad headlined by Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving once more.

Of the first-time potential All-Stars discussed in this segment, only Simmons looks like he’s in a position to truly transcend in 2019.

As the starting point guard on a serious Eastern Conference contender, Simmons will have every opportunity to play early and often in each Sixers contest, with a number of high-profile nationally televised games, like on Christmas Day, to highlight his skill set for the world to see.

This, when coupled with the fact that other players just generally seem to like the 22-year-old guard/forward makes one believe that he may not only make it into the All-Star Game in 2019, but actually finished towards the top of all three relevant voting polls, the fan poll, the coaches poll, and the player pool.

And frankly, why not?

Sure, Simmons lacks the traditional 3-point shot of a starting-caliber point guard and is still finding his legs in defensive switch-off situations, but at 6-foot-10 and 230 pounds, Simmons is the textbook definition of an NBA unicorn, one who could effectively play alongside anyone in an All-Star Game situation.

Next. Philadelphia 76ers earn Christmas Day treatment for second year in row. dark

So honestly, the real question shouldn’t be “Will Ben Simmons make his first All-Star Game in 2019”, but “What position will Ben Simmons play in his first All-Star Game, point guard, or power forward?”