LSU needed a win today to keep any realistic hope of making the NCAA Tournament alive. Instead, the team suffered a 33-point loss to Texas A&M in a game that wasn’t competitive beyond the first few minutes. Ben Simmons had a double-double, accumulating 10 points and 12 rebounds, but he didn’t play with a fire that many players display while leading a team in a must-win game.
His inability to give the Tigers a shot at the Final Four, coupled with his on court demeanor, has raised questions about his ability to be a franchise player in the NBA. That leads up to tonight’s shootaround: If you were the GM of the team that wins the 2016 lottery, would you consider passing on Simmons?
The LSU product was considered a lock for the No. 1 overall pick entering the season, but one GM told Chad Ford of ESPN.com that his play this year has caused some concerns.
“As the season has gone on, I think he hasn’t improved and other guys have,” the anonymous GM said to Ford. “When guys don’t improve, I get a little nervous. I thought he’d get more comfortable with his jumper. He’d start molding this team into a cohesive unit. It’s gone the opposite direction. I still love him as a prospect, but I’ve got a lot more question marks.”
Brandon Ingram may be the only threat to take over the No. 1 spot and he will have an opportunity that Simmons does not: a chance to shine in the NCAA Tournament.
Let’s be clear. Simmons is not the reason that LSU will likely be headed to the NIT. His play this season is the only reason the team has double-digit wins, as the 2015/16 Tigers lack cohesiveness and top-level talent beyond the Australian native. While Simmons wasn’t the model of consistency, he displayed flashes of brilliance this season and showcased versatility that will be valuable in an ever-changing NBA. Is that enough to justify taking him with the No.1 overall pick regardless of how other prospects finish their seasons? Let’s us know in the comments section below. We look forward to what you have to say!