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76ers Coach Reveals if He Plans to Start Ben Simmons at Point Guard

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons is going to be at the center of everything the Philadelphia 76ers want to do next season, but will he start his rookie campaign off with the ball running the point?

Head coach Brett Brown was noncommittal on the topic while visiting the Nova Care Complex to catch the Eagles practice, but made it clear that Simmons would have the ball in his hands a lot.

“I can’t wait for the season to begin and all over the place I’m very, very excited to start our season,” Brown said. “I think [Simmons] is going to have some taste of [point guard] for sure. He’ll dictate that himself when he rebounds and leads the break. I’ve said it many times, I think the NBA point guard is the hardest position in the NBA.

“He’s never played point guard, let alone NBA point guard, so what do you think he’s going to be? He has a real good chance to be that. I think initially we’re going to play him in different positions and that [point guard] will certainly be one of them. I believe he’s an elite passer. He has the mentality to do that first—and in a 6-foot-10 frame that weighs 240, 250 pounds, at 20 years old. That’s a great package to work with to play multiple positions.

“He’s going to be a facilitator. You’re going to see [Simmons] making plays. The ball will be in his hands and you can call what position you want. He’s certainly going to have the ball in his hands a lot, and everybody will certainly be reaping the benefits of that and truly enjoy playing with him. What we will say is we will give him the ball as much as we can.”

Simmons has an overall feel for the game usually displayed by guys who’ve been in the league a few years, while his passing ability may someday have him mention with the likes of LeBron James and Magic Johnson.

I think with such an elite passer, Brown’s cool with just letting him play.

-- Glenn Erby

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