With the NBA Draft just a month away, a stinging rumor swirls in as LSU beat writer Glen Guilbeau stated that Ben Simmons is not worthy of being this year’s number one pick because he lacks the overall skills.
Guilbeau went on to comment that the Australian is more of a complementary player rather than of a star player for any team to pick. The disturbing comments came as a surprise as teams and analysts view Simmons as a strong contender for this year’s number one pick with Duke Blue Devils’ Brandon Ingram.
It is noteworthy to say that this year’s class of rookies lack the star quality but it does not prevent teams from gambling on to take in surprise picks which could turn things around next season. The Philadelphia 76ers, for example, is viewing either Simmons or Ingram as the number one pick and they see that both players have the skills to be an enforcer inside the paint but Guilbeau has his concerns over Simmons.
“I don’t think he should be the first pick,” Guilbeau said on TCN’s Breakfast on Broad. “I can see him being a high first-round pick. It depends on the team he’s going to. Do they have enough of the other parts of the team where he can be a facilitator and a complementary player? To me, he’s more of a specialist player and a complementary player than someone who can really take over a team. He’s not a strong, inside player like a brute. A physical player. And he also does not shoot from the outside, which is amazing, but he’s a great passer and a great scorer.”
Thus, if the 76ers take in Ingram, the Lakers will be pressured if they would pass on Simmons and take in Buddy Heild, who could very well blend in the type of system that Luke Walton wants to build for the team next season.
Guilbeau added that Simmons problem is that he is a point guard who could not shoot from outside the perimeter. He further stated that Simmons numbers in the NCAA were not impressive as he just tallied 10 points and 12 rebounds in their 71-38 loss to the Texas A&M as compared to his season average of 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds with 4.8 assists and 2.0 steals.
“I just was surprised — he didn’t even try to shoot from the outside. That would be the normal attribute that a player like him would have because he’s a guard. He’s basically a guard who can’t shoot. Most of them can shoot.” Guilbeau explained.
“That’s what I thought was really missing, and it hurt the team at times. In my mind, either you can dominate inside like a Shaquille O’Neal, or you can do all the other things, but all the other things have to include shooting from the outside, and he doesn’t do that. I’d rather have Buddy [Hield].”
Guilbeau statements really shook up the teams list for the draft night which is set on June 23 in Brooklyn. With Simmons’ skills in question, it looks like it’s a free for all as candidates will try to impress teams in the top order to select them such as the 76ers, Lakers, Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns.
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