Ben Simmons’ bad postseason has been impossible not to notice. That’s true of NBA general managers, too, and it’s apparently hurting the Philadelphia 76ers guard’s perception.
In Thursday’s edition of ESPN’s “The Lowe Post” podcast, Zach Lowe revealed that GMs he has spoken to who were once high on Simmons are feeling much less enthusiastic these days.
“I have news for Philly fans. The GMs of the other teams watch the playoffs very, very closely,” Lowe said, via Adrian Bernecich of Blazer’s Edge. “And there are definitely teams that I have talked to in the last 48 hours who were once in on Simmons, who say, at least to me — it could be posturing — “eh, we’re a little less in than we used to be.”
As Lowe notes, it could be posturing. However, it would be hard for this playoff run to not affect one’s perception of Simmons. In a league where floor spacing and jump shooting are increasingly important, Simmons does not do much of either. His free-throw shooting has been such an issue that the Sixers essentially decided they were better off without him on the floor during crunch time in an elimination game.
Simmons is still an elite defender and a quality passer, particularly when he’s right. Ultimately, though, it’s a big drop in status for a guy who was rumored to be the centerpiece of a possible James Harden trade earlier this season. The 24-year-old still has plenty of time to get himself right, but it’s ugly right now.