WallToWall wrote:With regards to Simmonsâ€¦
I am not sure that he puts in the work to improve himself. Year over year, his stats are the same. No J. I donâ€™t think he will improve any more. What you see is what you get. There are a dozen or so flashes to make you think otherwise, but he certainly hasnâ€™t put it together. I get the â€śbuy lowâ€ť part of a trade. But there is nothing here to tell me that he will amount to more than what he is now. It is possible that once he signs his next big contract, he may have no incentive to improve at all.
Is this worth 3625 first round picks and the farm? I think not.
Yes, he is a unicorn. He reminds me of Westbrook in some ways, who I also consider a bit of a unicorn, in that he rebounds like a C and gets to the rim like a PG like no other before him. Except, Westbrook puts in the time, and effort, has the desire to improve, and is a crazy competitor. He is worth the 4636 draft picks and the farm when he was in his prime.
Unlike Westbrook, he's a great defender - perhaps the only one legitimately able to defend 1 through 5 at a high level. Considering that most agree that the most important part of defense is effort, I don't get the thought process used in the assumption that Simmons doesn't work hard.
I think there's a difference between "working hard" in games, i.e., motor, and "working hard" at the craft, i.e., discipline. Simmons plays hard in games -- hard enough to be a dominant defender, anyway. But it's unclear how hard he works off the court. Who knows for certain? Maybe he works his tail off every off-season, but has a mental block. Or maybe there's a physiological reason, e.g., whatever athletic gift Steph has -- preternatural coordination, depth perception, and body control -- maybe Simmons skews in the other direction. Or, maybe he just likes to lift weights and date starlets, and doesn't put in the time, perennial IG videos notwithstanding.
I also want to note that it takes a *long* time for a non-shooting ball handler to develop a shot. Jason Kidd didn't start shooting 3s reliably with volume (i.e., 5+ FGAs/game) until he was 31. Rondo was 28 when he finally logged a season shooting >35% from 3, and 32 when he finally took more than 3 FGAs/game from distance.
Of course, FTs are another adventure entirely (here's some data
). But, Karl Malone, Blake Griffin, and Chris Webber all improved from dreadful to solid at the stripe. Blake has been in the .700s since he was 23, and Malone jumped up .100 points at age 24, but Webber didn't take the leap into respectability at the line until 26.
Simmons is 25. It's possible that WYSIWYG. But we've at least seen a few examples of talented ball-handlers who developed a reasonably reliable perimeter jumper late in their career, and a few examples of bigs who improved a bit at shooting FTs.
Always remember, my friend: the world will change again. And you may have to come back through everywhere you've been.