The Longest View is back! I have had a busy couple of weeks and have not been able to write lately. A short while ago, I sent out a tweet (@TheLongestView asking for mailbag questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions are always encouraged, please keep sending them!
Where would Ben Simmons rank in this year’s draft?
I would rank Simmons second at worst, ahead of Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, and everyone else in this year’s lottery. The question is Simmons or Fultz? This is interesting to consider, because Simmons and Fultz had similar college careers. Both played at non-traditional basketball schools for one year and missed the NCAA Tournament while racking up monster numbers.
Fultz and Simmons are to difficult to compare because they play different positions and have different styles of play. Fultz and D’Angelo Russell, for instance, would be easier to compare because they play the same position in a similar fashion. Simmons’ combination of size, speed, passing, and finishing is unparalleled outside of LeBron. Fultz looks ready to join the ranks of scoring point guards like Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, and Isaiah Thomas, and has potential to develop into a better and more complete player than those three.
Overall, I think that Simmons and Fultz are just about even as prospects. How well each fits on the team with the first pick would probably decide the order. Simmons is hard to build a team around, because he requires dangerous shooters around him. Fultz could step into any lineup and fit in right away. The Celtics, however, are one team that might have a need for Simmons. They have been starting Amir Johnson at power forward all season, so Simmons would be a significant upgrade. Boston already has a point guard in Isaiah Thomas, so Fultz could be a shaky chemistry fit there.
If the Sixers were picking first, it would be a tough choice. I would likely take Fultz. If the Sixers had Fultz instead of Simmons right now, it would be a lot easier to pick a prospect like Josh Jackson, who has limitless upside but cannot shoot. With that being said, I still believe that Simmons will be ridiculous next year.
I received one other question that I will answer in the next couple of days. Feel free to send more. Enjoy the Finals everyone.