Positives For Philadelphia 76ers In Ben Simmons Injury

Sep 26, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; General view of the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex during media day. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; General view of the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex during media day. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

This new era of Philadelphia 76ers basketball is put on hold while everyone waits on Ben Simmons to heal, however there are positives in this situation.

Yesterday news broke that the first overall pick Ben Simmons had broken his ankle in practice. Sad situation to be sure. It seems the Philadelphia 76ers cannot get a break when it comes to tall players and injuries in recent history. First Andrew Bynum, then Nerlens Noel, followed by Joel Embiid, then last year Jahlil Okafor, and now Ben Simmons. Unlike the other players, there is still hope for Ben Simmons and this season.

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The first bit of good news for the Sixers and fans is that Simmons may not be out all the long. The break is in Simmons’ fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot and according to research done by Bret Stuter of The Sixer Sense, is that Simmons will likely be out for roughly two-three months, give or take two weeks. Accuracy of Bret’s research is key for this timetable, as there have been conflicting reports over how the injury occured.  However if accurate, the Sixers will be without Simmons during the regular season for about one month. Most teams can survive a month without a superstar for that time period, especially when they went 10-72 last season and have no playoff aspirations.

This is not the only positive that franchise can take away from this injury. With Simmons out for a month in the regular season the Sixers must the void at power forward. Joel Embiid was reported that he will start at center. That leaves the following options, Dario Saric, Jerami Grant, Richaun Holmes, Noel and Okafor.

Now if the Sixers are thinking of wins Saric, Grant, or Holmes would be better options for the type of offensive scheme the team runs. Whoever starts of theses option will grow their game quicker and gain valuable experience.

Saric mimics Simmons’s skill set enough to not take a huge drop off for the team as a whole. There are a down sides though.  It he starts,  the bench would be weaker.  As a rookie, he might not be able to play against top tier NBA talent right away. This could actually challenge his growth as a player. Holmes could be an option if they want to go big and have some floor spacing, but he is not a great three point shooter.  Without a play-maker at the four, the team could struggle offensively. Grant may be the best option. He is not a great offensive player, but is becoming an efficient scorer. Defensively he is the best option, add him next to Embiid and Robert Covington, and that is a scary front court defensively.

Okafor or Noel would be better options if president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo is looking to make a trade sooner rather than later. Getting either player more playing time would be key in making a trade. More playing time equals to higher stats, which could entice a team into a trade. A trade would allow for the Sixers logjam to center to be resolved before Simmons returns. That would allow the team and Simmons to continue forward with a lot less drama.

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Simmons injury is a short term tragedy which the 76ers will endure.

However, the Philadelphia 76ers need to make sure that while Simmons is recovering that they utilize this time to develop other players.  This could also enhance the opportunity for the team to trade one of the centers. Only time will tell if head coach Brett Brown and president of basketball operation Bryan Colangelo will take advantage of this situation.