It would seem as though Ben Simmons is the genuine article, even though the 2017 – 2018 NBA season is still in its infancy.
If he remains healthy, he could prove to be the force needed by the Philadelphia 76ers to return to winning ways, something that seems to evoke prehistoric days. The 76ers have not been relevant since 2001, the last time they won an Eastern Conference championship.
Ineptness does have it reward in the world of sports, though.
After finishing the 2015 – 2016 after winning only 10 of 82 regular-season games, they were awarded the first pick in the 2016 draft, which they used to acquire the Melbourne-born Simmons.
Simmons missed all of last season and many observers thought that he was going to be a bust, but after recovering from the injury, he has gotten on the court to prove his doubters wrong.
Simmons has been on the floor for 34 minutes per game thus far this season and is averaging 17.5 points, over 50 percent shooting, 9.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists. There are NBA All-Stars who have not carried that sort of stat line.
If the 76ers can keep Simmons healthy and surround him with a supporting cast, they should be eyeing a return to the playoffs, if not this year, then certainly next.
As far as comparisons between Simmons and the other NBA players go, he is sixth in the entire league for the number of two point field goals and seventh for assists.
Those are solid numbers for a rookie, although technically, Simmons is no longer a true rookie, as he was on the 76ers squad last year on the injured reserve.
Ben Simmons may prove to be the brightest star in terms of Aussie NBA presence and his journey will supply an interesting juxtaposition to another Aussie, this one a veteran, Andrew Bogut.
Bogut is with the Los Angeles Lakers this season and thus far, has been making the sorts of solid contributions that have made him a veteran on almost 700 NBA games.