Photo Credit: Bleacher Report
Rookie forward Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers, who was drafted by the team with the 1st overall pick in this past Summer’s NBA draft out of Louisiana State, rolled his ankle in practice yesterday and was diagnosed with a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot. Simmons will undergo surgery on his injured foot and will likely be out for about three months.
Simmons, 20, was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers out of Louisiana State this past June in the NBA draft after spending just one year in the NCAA. During that lone season, Simmons played in 33 games and averaged 34.9 minutes per game, 19.2 points per game, 11.8 rebounds per game, 4.8 assists per game, 0.8 blocks per game, and 2.0 steals per game. He shot 56.0% from the field, 33.3% from 3-point range, and 67.0% from the free throw line.
In college last season, Simmons was regarded as one of the top candidates for the Wooden Award until being deemed academically ineligible with a grade point average below 2.0, a requirement to win the prestigious award. He was the only player in the nation to average over 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists per game.
No team, especially the rebuilding 76ers, needs to deal with an injury at this point in the year roughly one month before the season even begins, especially one this significant. Simmons was the clear favorite to win the 2016-2017 NBA Rookie of the Year award, so despite Simmons having yet to prove himself on the professional level, losing this big of a potential impact player is not good for a 76ers team that is otherwise extremely weak. However, the 76ers need to do whatever they can not to rush him back, because right now, he is seen as the central building block and future centerpiece of the team’s franchise. They cannot afford to let his injury get worse or even put him in high risk situation of getting injured again.