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June 02, 2017

What they’re saying: Lonzo Ball brings the Sixers both fit and upside

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When I wrote last week that Lonzo Ball is a perfect fit in Philly, some brought up that there is already a point guard on the Sixers roster named Ben Simmons. How will those two players possibly fit together?

Thing is, I feel like Ball is best suited as a “co-handler” of sorts. I’m not sure he has the “wiggle” and advanced ball-handling to become an elite NBA lead guard in the traditional sense. But if you’ve ever seen Ball play, he isn’t ball dominant at all and his basketball IQ was infectious. His value will be in making the team offense better.

Derek Bodner, who ranked Ball second on his Sixers Big Board, also seems to believe the UCLA product would fit well on the current Sixers roster:

I have concerns about Lonzo Ball’s game, specifically his man-to-man defense and his ability to create off the bounce in the half court. Both of those concerns are pretty serious, at least to most teams, and at least in the context of whether or not Ball can become a star player. But on the 76ers, those can be overcome. Thanks to his 6’6″ height, he can legitimately be hidden defensively on the weakest backcourt player. His touch passing and off-the-catch shooting can help while Simmons creates. And his elite transition play gives the 76ers yet another option in transition. Ball isn’t ball dominant at all, and that helps his fit with Simmons as a co-creator.

We’ll see who the Lakers decide to draft, but yeah, on the off-chance he’s there at No. 3, I’m very much Team Lonzo.

Sixers news and coverage at PhillyVoice

1.    All JoJo, all the time: The big fella has been doing it all, all over the globe. Joel Embiid represented the Sixers on Jimmy Kimmel, reading Mean Tweets, is heading to Wales for a celebrity soccer match (don’t worry, he’s not playing!), and is swatting the youth of South Philly in his spare time.

2.    No comparison: Stan Van Gundy’s comments about the Sixers record over the past few years got me thinking about how it’s irrelevant to compare what they’re doing to past NBA teams.

3.    Mock Draft Mock Draft Mock Draft: The Sixers only mock involves a scoring guard while the mock draft roundup says all signs are pointing toward Bryan Colangelo and the front office drafting an athletic swingman.

4.    Draft scenario: With all of the bricks that Klay Thompson shot in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, maybe the Warriors would actually consider trading him to the Sixers?

5.    Trust The Process? Examining the differences between the Sixers’ and Phillies’ rosters and overall rebuilds.

Other Sixers news, notes and analysis from around the web

The Philadelphia 76ers Will Replace The Cavaliers As The Dominant Power In The Eastern Conference: Zach Glover, Forbes

Dare to dream, I guess:

Just a year ago, Philly was the worst team in the league. However, with the assets the team has now it isn't too farfetched to believe that they can become the frontrunner in the Eastern Conference. Philly has two transcendent athletes, promising prospects in Okafor and Saric, and an abundance of picks. On the strength of these assets, the 76ers will replace the Cavaliers as the dominant power in the Eastern Conference.

Sixers Mailbag: Can Josh Jackson be best player available at No. 3 without a jump shot? Kyle Neubeck, Liberty Ballers

Neubeck tackles the subject of Jackson’s jump shot, which very well might be the biggest swing skill the 2017 NBA Draft:

But he does so many other things well that I think it’s quite easy to see why he’d be best available. He was a super valuable offensive player at the college level because he’s able to impact the game in a variety of ways, regardless of whether the jumper fell or not. Jackson was adept at attacking closeouts, crashing the offensive glass, cutting away from the ball, and passing with either hand while driving to the hoop.

Mike is a really good Sixers writer who breaks down team on-court concepts and now has moved on to posting scouting threads on some of the top NBA Draft prospects on Twitter. He’s definitely worth a follow.

And in case you were feeling nostalgic, Steph Curry shouted out Allen Iverson after adopting the shooting sleeve that he made popular.


Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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