Ex-Sixers Star Ben Simmons Says He Will Shoot Three-Pointers With Brooklyn Nets

Ben Simmons, Sixers, Nets

Getty Ben Simmons #10 of the Brooklyn Nets warms up before the game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

The seeming only certainties in life are death, taxes, and Ben Simmons promising to shoot a jump shot. Fans of the Philadelphia 76ers are quite familiar with the cycle of seeing the offseason workouts involving Simmons’ three-pointers only for this not the translate to live games. Through his four seasons in the NBA, the former number one overall pick has attempted just 34 three-pointers with the most in a season (11) occurring his rookie year. He has connected on just five of these three-point attempts. When sitting down with JJ Redick on the latest episode of the Old Man and the Three, the LSU product discussed the perception of him and how the talks of his inability to shoot bothered him which can be seen in the clip below.


Will Ben Simmons ever change this mindset?

Perimeter shooting and three-point production have become increasingly important in the modern NBA. The NBA average of three-point attempts per game has increased every year since the 2010-11 season. While some players do not rely on the long-range ball and are still successful, Simmons’ ball-dominant nature becomes difficult without the threat of a jump shot.

After several minutes of discussion about his relationship with three-pointers, Redick directly asked the new Nets guard if he will be attempting three-pointers this year. The two shared a laugh about the question, but Simmons replied that “Yeah I need to. I need to just go out there and put some up.”

It is difficult to gauge Simmons’ true feeling on this but Redick emphasized how his lack of three-point shooting oftentimes overshadows the things he does well. Redick, on the other hand, was known for his three-point ability and connected on 433 long-range attempts as a teammate of Simmons with the Sixers.


Does Simmons NEED to Shoot Three-Pointers?

While the three-point shooting was often considered the biggest hole in his game, this was not the only problem with Simmons’ play. The former number one overall pick notably regressed from when he first came into the league. As a rookie, Simmons averaged 15.8 points, 8.2 assists, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game. During his final year in Philadelphia and the last time he stepped on the court in 2020-21, Simmons averaged just 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. While these are still solid numbers, the failure to continue developing into the star it was hoped he would become is what left a sour taste in the mouths of the Philadelphia faithful.

Stats can be deceiving at times, but the lack of aggression in Simmons’ game has been notable. If he had continued to attack the paint and push the pace in transition in the way he initially did, the lack of perimeter shooting would not have been as big of a deal. The highlights of his summer league performances and early games with the Sixers still leave fans frustrated at what could have been.

As Simmons and the Sixers continue in their different directions there are plenty of reasons for optimism surrounding both. Simmons will be surrounded by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving who will be more than willing to take up his share of shots. The Nets also do not have a post-oriented player like Joel Embiid which could provide him more room to attack the basket. In many ways, the Sixers were asking him to be something that did not come naturally to him and Brooklyn will have a more comfortable role for the DPOY runner-up.

For the Sixers, they succeeded in flipping Simmons for Harden in the hopes he will be the ideal co-star for Embiid. While there are questions surrounding Harden as well, it appears a more concrete gamble than hoping for Simmons to improve.

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