Professional accolades have arrived for Ben Simmons. Philadelphia's top selection in the 2016 NBA Draft was named First Team All-NBA Summer League late Sunday evening, drawing praise for his eye-popping passing in Las Vegas.
Simmons was joined by the following players:
FIRST TEAM: Tyus Jones (Timberwolves), Jordan McRae (Cavaliers), Bobby Portis (Bulls), Alan Williams (Suns), Ben Simmons (Sixers)
SECOND TEAM: Jaylen Brown (Celtics), Thon Maker (Bucks), Kelly Oubre Jr. (Wizards), Norman Powell (Raptors), Tyler Ulis (Suns)
The Aussie's game came as advertised in Vegas and the team's initial stint in Utah. Defenders often played off him and dared Simmons to shoot, but he was still able to make them pay thanks to his combination of physical gifts and supernatural playmaking skills.
Simmons entered Summer League with some questions as to what his long-term position would be, though even Brett Brown now seems convinced he can be a point guard down the line. His stat line is pretty funky for a guy who nominally played the four, but 12.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists on 40.9 percent shooting is indicative of what he brought to the table.
There's no doubt his jumper needs work, but with more NBA-caliber talent around him, Simmons will fairly easily up the assist count. He'll need to work on finishing with both hands around the rim -- a shortcoming several teams used to their advantage -- though his ability to constantly create separation and quality looks despite this was encouraging.
Being selected to the First Team would be expected of any No. 1 overall pick, and Simmons lived up to his end of the bargain. Sometimes just taking care of business is enough. The only shame is fans will now be deprived of Simmons highlights for the next few months -- keep it together, everyone.