What Drafting Ben Simmons Means for the Sixers
*Photo via Philly.com
With the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft the Philadelphia 76ers selected Ben Simmons, forward from Louisiana State University.
The success of Simmons isn't necessarily in the hands of Simmons. His athleticism and skill set are enough to make him a solid player for the next 7-10 years, his vision and natural passing ability will make him a perennial All-Star, but its the pieces that General Manager Bryan Colangelo puts around the Australian that will be the key determinant to if he is an all-time great or not.
Simmons has all the tools to be a great player in the NBA, but even that may not be enough to lift an organization bogged in tanking seasons, and a recent slew of terrible trades. Philly will need to put a solid mix of talent around their first-round pick to begin the building process. Players that will compliment SImmons' skill set; knockdown shooters, a few defensive dogs and a couple of veterans to provide leadership, etc. But this will all be in the hands of the 76ers front office, who have been under a microscope the last couple of season amid allegations of stockpiling draft picks with no real direction o development of talent.
*Photo via CBS
Although their past warrants skepticism, I will give the 76ers the benefit of the doubt. I believe they will be just as spectacular in the front office as Simmons will be on the court and meet him halfway in lifting the organization from the ashes. It's probably true that you can only go up once you've hit rock bottom, but for this organization to mishandle their greatest draft selection since Allen Iverson there would be no coming back from that.
So there should be no question marks on how Simmons will live up to his first overall selection, I already have him as the favorite to win the Rookie of the Year before even laces up his sneakers. He will perform. He needs his organization to put everything behind him to truly be successful.