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June 07, 2017

What they’re saying about the Sixers: Markelle Fultz is better than Ben Simmons

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Landing the top overall pick in the NBA Draft is a big deal. Historically, the draft slot that produces the most win shares is… you guessed it, number one.

The Sixers had the good fortune to win the draft lottery last year, but Ben Simmons wasn’t able to rack up any win shares as a foot injury ended up sidelining him for the entire 2016-17 NBA season. He taught us all how the #RaiseTheCat, though, so it wasn’t all bad.

Next season’s Rookie of the Year race could be a lot of fun because there will be two top overall picks vying for the honor with all of the 28-year-old role players Malcolm Brogdon inspired this season: Simmons and almost assuredly Boston Celtics point guard Markelle Fultz. Over at Bleacher Report, Jonathan Wasserman broke down who he thought was the better prospect of the two.

As the post's title may have hinted at, it’s not the guy who plays for the Sixers:

Few players become stars without scoring in volume. Draymond Green is one, but he compensates with elite defense and happens to be surrounded by world-class shooters who help optimize his versatility. Simmons, whose defensive effort fluctuated at LSU, must either make significant strides with his jumper or play with puzzle-piece teammates who can help mask his weaknesses and exploit his strengths.

Fultz comes off as today's quintessential lead guard who's loaded with scoring and playmaking firepower. He also turned 19 on May 29, and Simmons will be 21 on July 20. Both players are clearly exceptional talents. Equal upside with fewer question marks help make Fultz the more attractive long-term bet.

That’s a tough one for me, mostly because their games really are so different. I agree with Wasserman that Fultz has fewer question marks and a higher floor, but Simmons has point guard skills at 6’10” and 240 pounds, which to me gives him a higher upside.

Sixers news and coverage at PhillyVoice

1.    NBA Draft rumors: Ah yes, Sixers rumors. Could the Kangz fork over the No. 5 and 10 picks to ensure they can draft De’Aaron Fox? Hey, that was one of our draft scenarios! How about Furkan Korkmaz playing in the NBA next season?

2.    Speaking of those draft scenarios, we did a couple (one, deux) that involve trading back for an established point guard and drafting the player who I feel has by far the most defensive potential in the NBA Draft.

3.    Mailbag: Let’s have some fun and go over potential draft-day trades for the Sixers.

4.    Remember the time Allen Iverson stepped over Tyronn Lue to help the Sixers at least get one game from a juggernaut Lakers team in the NBA Finals?

Other Sixers news, notes and analysis from around the web

Sixers hope to work out Lonzo Ball, Markelle Fultz: Derek Bodner

Bodner has all of the important news and notes from the Sixers’ first draft workouts:

“It’s certainly something that we would like to arrange with Lonzo,” Colangelo said about a potential workout, while noting that a meeting hasn’t yet happened. “We certainly have an interest in meeting and talking to all top-10 prospects. We had a chance to meet with several of them already.”

Larry Brown: “Whoever is saying Ben Simmons is a point guard is a moron”: 97.5 The Fanatic Midday Show

Larry Brown apparently believes that Brett Brown is a moron (h/t CSN Philly):

“I watched that kid at Montverde. He’s a point guard when he gets the ball in the half court. He’s a point guard if he gets the ball off the board because he’s such a willing passer and so good with the ball, but if he’s going to have to back it down and bring the ball up against little guys, it’s going to take away from what he’s capable of doing. Whoever is saying that is a moron.”

Lonzo Ball’s True Destiny: Jonathan Tjarks and Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer

Tjarks seems to agree with me that Lonzo Ball’s best on-court fit is right here in Philadelphia with this Sixers roster:

I think the perfect fit for Lonzo — at least when it comes to matters on the court — is actually no. 3 to Philly, where he could play off of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. That team would be amazing.


Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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