It's been almost two weeks since general manager Bryan Colangelo tabbed Ben Simmons and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot with the No. 1 and No. 24 picks, respectively. The tandem has fielded questions from the media and participated in practices together, but now they have their initial opportunity to showcase their talents in a professional environment. Simmons is arguably the most heralded talent of the Summer League. Here's the full list of summer league participants on the team:
Almost 20 years old, Utah will be a similar experience for Simmons to what he had to deal with at LSU. He has capable teammates, but the rest of the roster is on a completely different plane in terms of ability. How he handles being one of the team's facilitators on a Sixers Summer League team bereft of them, outside of McConnell, is a theme to take into account Monday night. He'll be opposed by No. 3 overall pick Jaylen Brown, who'll be featured mightily on a Celtics team fueled by young, homegrown talent.
While the Sixers have Simmons and Luwawu-Cabarrot, plus four other talents who have played/are on the team currently, Boston's Summer League team is loaded with first and second-round picks Danny Ainge has drafted over the past three drafts. Led by Brown and 2015 first-round pick R.J. Hunter, the Celtics could be a problem tonight in terms of sheer, young talent.
However, no player clad in green has the natural talent and versatility of Simmons, who, like Jahlil Okafor last year, is to have an immediate impact in a showcase league. It's the start of the Ben Simmons era in Philadelphia, one that's been three years in the making. Game time is 7:00 p.m. ET and you can watch on TCN (channel 580/99 on Verizon Fios, channel 846/08 on Comcast) and NBATV (channel 589/89 on Verizon Fios, channel 749 on Comcast) or listen at nba.com.