6. BEN SIMMONS, SIXERS (according to

Is it bold to have a player heading into just his second season, coming off sort of a clunker of a playoff run, ranked this highly? Maybe. But when making projections as serious and important as this (that’s sarcasm, by the way), it’s vital to take some risks. And saying Ben Simmons will be the NBA’s sixth-best point guard next season is the risk we’ll choose to take.

In his inaugural campaign, in which he earned Rookie of the Year honors, Simmons averaged 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 1.7 steals per contest. The only other rookie to ever put up 15/8/8 in their first year? Oscar Robertson, who did it in 1960-61 in a much weaker NBA.

Simmons certainly has flaws he has to improve upon to take the next step, but as is, he’s a special talent. His vision is next level, he can get by slow-footed bigs and bully regular-sized point guards, he’s a spectacular defender thanks to his 6-foot-10 frame and if he can tidy up his offensive game – really, it’ll come down to whether he can become a remote threat from beyond five feet of the basket – he has the potential to earn league MVP honors one day. His ceiling is that high.

He likely won’t reach it next season, but even with a modicum of improvement, we believe Simmons will be among the six best point guards in the NBA in 2018-19:

Projecting the Top 30 point guards for 2018-19

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