If you're looking to temper expectations for the Sixers top selection, this isn't the post for you. People are always searching for comparisons when the "next big thing" comes down the pipeline, and Brett Brown brought up a few names that will please Sixers fans in discussing LSU's Ben Simmons.
During an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd yesterday, Brown was asked if Sixers management was concerned by Simmons' jumper and the impact it will have on his NBA career:
It does if we didn't sort of dig in like we have. I'm sort of very aware of Ben's situation, I lived in Austrailia for a long time. I coached his father for five years, I'm aware of his junior coaches throughout Ben's entire life.
When you look at his form, no differently when we drafted Kawhi Leonard with the Spurs, one of the assessments we had to make is 'Was his shot transferable to the NBA?' Was it a total rebuild or was it a little bit of a makeover? And I think his form isn't one where you just have to blow it up and start over, and I think it can translate.
Don't expect Simmons to make a similar leap to Leonard in the shooting department. Still, Brown's past with the Spurs (and his time in Australia) provides necessary background as they try to zero in on who to pick.
In case you really want to get sent into a frenzy, Cowherd asked him about the players he thinks Simmons might compare to:
He's got a hint of Magic [Johnson]. You know at times, you can see like a younger LeBron [James] where you're not sure what position he is. One moment you think he's a four, maybe he's a three, he looks comfortable handling the ball. When you say, 'What is your identifiable, NBA elite skill?' most people will go immediately to passing.
You take that collection of comments and add it to a 6'10 frame, the comparisons to those two players could be a little bit reckless, could be a little bit ambitious, but there is no denying he really does come to the draft with a very unique skill package.
That is a pretty strong endorsement even with the qualifiers.
In fairness, Brown was complimentary of Brandon Ingram during the show, addressing any weight concerns with parallels to Kevin Durant, so it's not as if he totally tipped the team's hand. But how could you not read into those comparisons made by the team's head coach and start thinking of Simmons in a Sixers uniform?
Draft night can't come soon enough.