Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons was in the news again this week. On Friday, Jason Dumas broke that the 76ers had rejected a trade offer for Simmons from the Indiana Pacers. The offer reportedly included Malcolm Brogdon and a first-round pick. The Sixers have stated that they will continue to field offers for the star point guard, and his future with the franchise is uncertain at best. Nevertheless, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers had some words of encouragement when asked about Simmons in a video that surfaced online.
A fan asked Rivers about whether he wants Simmons back with the team next season in the video.
Ben’s great. I want him back. He’s terrific. He’ll be great.TMZ Sports
The fan then asks if Rivers can help fix Simmons’ highly scrutinized jump shot, to which he replied:
I think he doesn’t need a lot of fixing. He’s going to be great for us.TMZ Sports
While these words were surely nice to hear for Simmons, there will be many questions concerning him this offseason. Simmons is an extremely unique and talented player. However, in the 2021 playoffs, it was clear that he had lost all confidence in his ability to shoot. He shot just 34.2% from the free-throw line in the postseason, the worst percentage in the playoffs for a player in NBA history with a minimum of 70 attempts. These struggles impacted the rest of his game. There were several times where he refused to shoot open shots for fear of getting fouled.
The future for Simmons
The 76ers season ended prematurely, and Simmons took a large part of the blame. After the series versus the Atlanta Hawks, Doc Rivers said he was unsure whether Simmons could be the point guard of a championship team. He appears to have more confidence in Simmons now. However, it still might be time for the Sixers to move on from him. For a player lacking confidence, trade rumors are probably the worst thing to hear. A fresh start might serve both Simmons and the 76ers well. Although, as evidenced by the rejection of the Brogdon trade, the Sixers will not sell low on their three-time all-star.