Ben Simmons is ready to take on the NBA.
The Sixers' rookie has set high expectations before playing in a game.
"My goal is to be the best in the league," he told ESPN at his basketball camp in Australia over the weekend.
Simmons missed the entire 2016-17 season after suffering a Jones fracture in his right foot during training camp. He has 7/2 odds to win Rookie of the Year, according to Bovada, but he is thinking far beyond that.
“I'm not worried about other rookies,” he told ESPN. “I'm worried about the guys at the top, and that's where I want to be."
These goals should come as no surprise. Simmons was the 2016 No. 1 pick and has been learning about the NBA from LeBron James, with whom he shares the same agent. He isn’t doubting himself in the area where he received the most criticism during his one season at LSU -- his shot. Simmons averaged 33.3 percent from three-point range in college.
“I've never had to shoot the ball as much so now it's a different level, but I'm very confident in what I need to do,” Simmons said, according to The Age.
Simmons was cleared for 5-on-5 basketball activity earlier this offseason. He does not plan to have any restrictions when he makes his debut.
"Nothing. I'm ready to go," Simmons said, according to The Age.
Of course that remains to be seen once the season begins. In June, Sixers head coach Brett Brown deemed the notion of Simmons playing restriction-free as “ambitious."
The Sixers closely monitored Joel Embiid after the big man missed his first two years because of foot injuries. Embiid did not compete in back-to-backs and played under carefully-watched minute restrictions. The Sixers have 14 back-to-backs on the schedule.
Simmons returned to Philadelphia on Monday.