Ben Simmons has a target on his back the size of Pennsylvania after an exceptionally disappointing playoff showing that led to an early vacation for the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons has some serious skills as a player but his flaws have never been more apparent. Simmons can't shoot, and even worse, it seems like he won't shoot, which wasn't a huge deal until his team was down two in a Game 7 and he passed up a wide-open dunk to dish the ball off to a double-teamed teammate.
What Simmons and the Sixers will do to change that is the hot topic right now and will likely define the near future of the franchise. If Simmons can alter his mindset to take the big shot or develop even a below-average midrange jumper, everything will change.
Stephen A. Smith discussed the matter on First Take today. While on-air, he received a text from a source about Simmons and his work ethic. It was... not flattering.
Not exactly great news for Philadelphia. Changing his game will require a lot of work and dedication. Building up a jumpshot from ground zero is not an easy task and hundreds of players throughout NBA history have failed in that effort. If Simmons has a reputation for not busting his butt to get better or listening to advice on what he can improve on, well...
Frankly, it's hard to see a complete overhaul happening over the course of a three-month offseason given that Simmons just finished up his fifth year in the league and looks like the exact same guy offensively as the one who was picked No. 1 overall in the 2016 NBA Draft. It's rather difficult to completely overhaul one's game, even if Simmons had the work ethic of Michael Jordan. Which he reportedly does not. It's a tall task regardless, and Smith's insight suggests it may very well be impossible unless Simmons changes his tune entirely.