The Philadelphia 76ers lost Game 5 of their NBA Eastern Conference series to the Toronto Raptors in decisive fashion, as the Raptors took a 3-2 lead in the series. In the 125-89 loss, per ESPN, the Sixers’ stars were mostly shut down, as an illness-plagued Joel Embiid scored only 13 points and Ben Simmons scored only seven. Jimmy Butler had 22.
The Sixers, if they lose this series, will be faced with decisions to make about free agents Butler, J.J. Redick, and Tobias Harris. But one noted NBA commentator says that he doesn’t think the team’s Embiid/Simmons core is the way to go for the long haul.
Speaking on ESPN’s Get Up morning show (via Twitter), Jalen Rose said that he doesn’t think the Sixers will ever win a championship with Simmons on the team.
“I feel like if you’re going to build around Joel Embiid, that means trading Ben Simmons,” Rose said on the show when asked by host Mike Greenberg. “Those are the two pilllars of your team. Ben Simmons won’t shoot the ball outside of the paint, and he can’t make free throws.”
Rose added that Simmons has had less success in the playoffs over the last two seasons as opposed to the regular season and that if Simmons is playing under the basket, there’s no room for Embiid to play there too.
In addition to Philadelphia’s free agency uncertainty, Simmons is eligible to receive a contract extension from the 76ers this offseason.
Simmons is only 22-years-old and has only played for two years in the league, not counting his rookie year, for which he was injured. The Australian point guard, however, has been an often spectacular player, becoming the second-fastest player in history to record 20 triple-doubles, according to USA Today. Simmons has also made headlines for his reported relationship with Kendall Jenner, although indications, per The Inquisitr, are that the couple is now no longer dating.
Also, Simmons is a rarity in the modern NBA, as he has never made a three-point shot in his career.
The Simmons comments are not the first time this week that Rose has speculated about the imminent departure of a player who had a subpar game the night before. On Tuesday, per The Inquisitr, Rose said on television that the Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving was “done” in Boston and that his teammates would be willing to help him pack.
The series between the 76ers and Raptors will continue with Game 6 in Philadelphia on Thursday night.