No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons is expected to miss at least three months of action due to his broken right foot, which will likely require surgery to correct. But if Simmons’ agent, Rich Paul, has anything to say about it, the forward won’t see the court again this season, Bob Cooney of The Philadelphia Daily News relayed today during an appearance on Philly’s 97.5 FM.
Speaking to 97.5’s Mike Missanelli, Cooney said, “I just got off the phone with somebody who I really trust in the NBA, and he’s like there’s no way his agent is going to let him play this year. That’s an injury that you don’t mess around with, and he thinks he’s going to keep him off his feet all year.”
While it isn’t Paul’s decision to make regarding whether or not Simmons plays or not this season, any schism between the player’s camp and the organization would not be a productive way to begin their long-term relationship. However, if the team did make the determination to play it safe and shelve Simmons for 2016/17, it would be the same strategy the team used for Nerlens Noel and twice for Joel Embiid.
It would also help ensure that Simmons is fully recovered before making his NBA debut. An X-ray taken revealed that Simmons has a Zone 2 fracture, which is more commonly called a Jones fracture. With that type of break comes a greater chance of another fracture occurring. Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer compared Simmons’ situation to that of Oklahoma City guard Cameron Payne, who had surgery on a Jones fracture July 25th, then got hurt again last week during training camp, breaking the fifth metatarsal in his right foot. A similar injury cost Kevin Durant most of the 2014/15 season.
While it can be argued that the Sixers wouldn’t make the playoffs even with a healthy Simmons, there are other issues at play, Dan Feldman of NBCSports.com notes. There were questions regarding Simmons’ attitude during his lone season at LSU, with the player being accused of not giving his all during the Tigers’ disappointing season. Attempting to force the team’s hand if he is medically cleared to play by team doctors wouldn’t help change perceptions regarding Simmons’ drive and work ethic, Feldman adds.
What do you think? Should the Sixers play it safe and keep Simmons on the shelf for the entire season in an attempt to prevent further injury, even if he’s given the OK to return by his doctors? Or do you think he should return to action if medically cleared during the 2016/17 campaign? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.