Ben Simmons: Why The Philadelphia 76ers’ No. 1 Overall Pick Will Be A Future Hall Of Famer

The Philadelphia 76ers ended all speculation on draft night when the team selected LSU forward Ben Simmons with the No. 1 overall pick. Ben spent one season at LSU and averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists while shooting a whopping 56 percent from the field. Many NBA draft experts had Simmons as the top overall prospect in this draft ever since he announced that he would be attending LSU.

Just one year ago, Ben was considered to be the top prospect coming out of high school and there were many who believed, according to Oregon Live, he was the top prospect coming out of high school since LeBron James in 2003. Simmons exuded that much talent at one of the top high school basketball programs in the country, Montverde Academy, as he averaged 28 points, 11.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 2.6 steals as a senior.

According to FOX Sports Australia, the major knocks on Ben Simmons at LSU were that he can’t shoot outside the paint and that he didn’t take college seriously and was lackadaisical. The shooting is an honest problem, but let’s not forget that Ben is only 19 years old and hasn’t needed a jumper to this point in his career. Once Simmons is able to get in the gym with the 76ers, it shouldn’t take long for him to be able to develop a mid-range game.

As for the carelessness, the NBA’s rule that doesn’t allow kids to turn pro until they are one year removed from high school had a big part in that. Simmons knew as soon as he committed to LSU that he wouldn’t be there longer than a year so he didn’t take his studies seriously and he may not have played 100 percent on every play because he had a future to worry. It’s hard to really blame him when Simmons knew he would be the No. 1 pick.

Now that the negatives are out of the way, let’s take a look at the reasons why I believe Ben Simmons will be a Hall of Fame player. First on the list is his versatility. Ben stands 6-foot-10 and 240 pounds and is a tremendous rebounder with the ability to handle the ball like a guard. To add a cherry on top, Simmons is the best passing big man in the entire 2016 NBA Draft and may be one of the best in the entire NBA once he steps on the court.

Another contributing factor is the state of the 76ers as a franchise. Simmons is going to be the player that Philadelphia builds around. Ben’s going to get 30 minutes per game almost immediately and he’s going to be allowed to make mistakes as he learns the pro game. If Simmons were drafted by an elite team, he would likely be forced to slowly work his way into the rotation. With the 76ers, Ben will contribute immediately and that will help his career statistics.

Finally, the new 76ers front office is diverting from the old plan of a long-term rebuild. New general manager Bryan Colangelo wants quicker results and is eager to build Philadelphia into a playoff team. If that’s going to happen, Simmons is going to be at the center of it and will likely receive the most credit for the 76ers finally putting a winner on the court. That alone will make Ben a Hall of Fame player in the eyes of 76ers fans.

With his unique skill set, Simmons is primed for greatness in the NBA and the 76ers will reap the rewards. Look for Philadelphia to be a playoff team within three to five years and Ben Simmons to be a Hall of Fame player when his career is complete.

[Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images]