Using ProFitX to Better Understand the Ben Simmons Situation
By Harrison Grimm
One of the biggest stories of the offseason was the Ben Simmons situation unfolding in Philadelphia. While the NBA world anxiously waited for a deal to occur, it casted an everlasting shadow on the NBA landscape. As the Sixers and the rest of the NBA return for training camp and the preseason, we’ve now reached yet another marker in the trade saga.
Part of the reason behind a deal not unfolding is that Ben Simmons is as unique of a player as they come; having some very polarizing strengths and weaknesses that make him one of the best players in the league, while also being one of the most frustrating to some. Today, we’ll take an in-depth look at Ben Simmons using ProFitX’s software to understand one of the league’s most complex players. More specifically, we’ll do an analysis into his contract, on-court performance, player potential, and even check out the best fitting teams to compliment Simmons’ skill set.
Let’s begin with Ben Simmons’ contractual status, an extremely important factor in any and all trade discussions. Ben Simmons is entering the second year of his five-year max extension with the Sixers. Counting the upcoming 2021-22 NBA season, Simmons will still have four years left on his current deal while still being owed a little more than a whopping $140 million – enter ProFitX. ProFitX specializes in real-time contract projections, which provide a financial value that reflects an athlete’s production based on factors such as, but not limited to: on-court production, injuries, and postseason performance. Simmons had a bit of a down year in production last season, which is reflected in the ProFitX’s real-time contract chart clearly. His real-time contract value last year was at a $26.8 million real-time contract evaluation, which is roughly $3 million under what he received in salary and down from his $29.1 million real-time contract value in the year prior. While his flameout in the playoffs was hard to watch, it didn’t take away his value to a larger extent, as he was a key player behind a Sixers team that was the first seed in the Eastern Conference. While he was an unwilling shooter, he did generate three-point looks for his teammates (more specifically with Danny Green and Seth Curry).
The past, however, is simply just that: the past. Any and all Ben Simmons talk moving forward revolves around his future. Luckily, ProFitX provides projections up to two years into the future. Simmons’ projections are favorable towards him as of right now. ProFitX projects him to have a real-time contract value of $30.7 million and $30.8 million respectively over the next two seasons. While the recency bias may ring loud for some, it doesn’t change the fact that Simmons has great production throughout the regular season. He’s a capable slasher, but his real value is established as a versatile defender that rebounds well and is capable of getting 7-8 assists per game. He is an established floor raiser for any team with postseason aspirations.
ProFitX also has tools in mind for the athlete’s side of things; more specifically, portraying data behind development and specific skills. As I alluded to earlier, Simmons has some of the most unique skills within his skillset in the entire league. He does a lot of stuff at a high level; defend multiple positions, playmaker, rebound, etc. But he does lack the one skill that is valued the most within the modern NBA: three-point shooting and shooting overall. The key development for Simmons is to develop a reliable shot; through free throws and three-point shooting.
It’s easy to focus on the one key area that Simmons’ lacks, but his attributes across the board showcase just how gifted he is in other areas. ProFitX offers a player role function that showcases dynamic offensive and defensive ratings for a player. Simmons has three ratings over 90: with interior finishing, slashing, and being a playmaker. Simmons finished as a runner up to defensive player of the year, and his defensive ratings showcase his talent, having straight 90+ overalls with skills such as high motor, turnover specialist, rebounding specialist, rim protection, and being a versatile defender. ProFitX’s player role function bases these ratings among all talent currently in the NBA, and it speaks volumes to how special of a player Ben Simmons can be/is.
We can also see the best fitting teams for any player through ProFitX’s TeamFit tool. The TeamFit tool is a dynamic AI model that displays the athlete’s current team along with the 5 best fitting teams based on skill set, strengths, and weaknesses in comparison to team style of play active roster needs. The Sixers’ abundance of shooting showcases how well fitting of a team they are, but ProFitX also has the LA Clippers, Houston Rockets, and Phoenix Suns as 3 of the best team fits for Ben Simmons with their current rosters.
ProFitX is capable of even going further beyond determining a team, they can do so with individual players. The Synergy tool helps showcase what players fit best alongside a specific athlete in one or even two athlete combinations. Maximizing Simmons’ unique skill set is key for any team. The two best fitting players listed by ProFitX’s synergy tool are Miami’s Kyle Lowry and CJ McCollum, as both are capable shooters and playmakers.
The Ben Simmons trade saga is still unfolding before our own eyes. Make sure to utilize the tools found at ProFitX to help you navigate what is a very murky and unique situation and make sense of what is inevitably going to be a very intriguing next few weeks.
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