Jalen Rose: ‘Philadelphia made a mistake in developing Ben Simmons as a point guard’

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

One of the more confounding stories in the NBA in the past year has been the fall of point guard Ben Simmons.

Simmons entered the league as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, and many assumed that he would achieve greatness. Though he is already a three-time All-Star and two-time All-Defensive player, his career has gone off the rails.

He was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers after sitting out the first portion of last season, and after joining the Brooklyn Nets, he still didn’t end up playing in any games due to injury.

According to former NBA player and current analyst Jalen Rose, some of the reasons for Simmons’ struggles now have to do with how the 76ers chose to develop him years ago. In fact, Rose believes that developing Simmons as a point guard was a major mistake.

“Philadelphia made a mistake in developing Ben Simmons as a point guard and here’s why: When you’re not attempting shots outside of the paint, it’s hard to have you at the top of the floor,” Rose said.

Rose does have a solid point, but there is also no doubt that Simmons is one of the better facilitators in the league, especially on the fast break.

While it may be difficult to have a player at the top of the floor who is not a scoring threat from deep, it would be equally difficult to put Simmons on the wing when there is no threat for him to execute on catch-and-shoot opportunities.

Beyond that, moving Simmons from the point would take the ball out of his hands to some degree, substantially reducing his ability to be an impact player offensively.

In the end, something is going to have to give. Either Simmons is going to have to improve his shooting and show a willingness to shoot in games, or his coaches are going to have to find a way to utilize his immense talent despite the fact that he has virtually no ability to score away from the basket.

Only time will tell which option gives way to the other.

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Jonathan has worked as a sports writer covering NBA and NFL news since 2017. He's a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Vikings.