LAS VEGAS -- Ben Simmons is ready for next season in so many ways.
The excitement of making his rookie debut. The excitement of playing with the Sixers’ new additions. The excitement of getting out there in front of fans that have stood behind him since he suffered a Jones fracture last October.
Simmons joined the Sixers in Las Vegas to watch and support the summer league squad. The Sixers on Sunday fell, 101-95, to the San Antonio Spurs without Markelle Fultz and Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot (see story).
Prior to the trip, he had been participating in 5-on-5 full-contact activity at the Sixers' training complex and working out regularly with Joel Embiid.
“I feel great,” Simmons said Sunday, speaking to the media for the first time since the end of the season.
The Sixers have made significant moves in the last month. They traded up in the draft to land Fultz at No. 1, drawn by his ability to play off the ball alongside Simmons. He already likes Fultz’s work ethic.
“I think it’ll be easy,” Simmons said. “I have no problem sharing the ball, he doesn’t either.”
The Sixers will have to sort out exactly how the two will play in tandem. Fultz is a traditional point guard. Simmons is an unconventional one at 6-foot-10. The Sixers are not looked in on labeling anyone a “point guard” but rather are focusing players being facilitators and distributors.
“Once you start playing, it’s one of those games where you just play and you feel it out,” Simmons said. “For me, I think you can move me anywhere. But, I’m a starting point guard.”
The Sixers also added veterans JJ Redick and Amir Johnson in free agency. Simmons is eager to learn, as he did last season with Jerryd Bayless.
“It’s just good to have leaders out there, older guys that have been through it,” Simmons said. “I can ask them about anything.
Simmons is ready to put last season in the past. He used his rehab to learn about the game from a distance, develop consistency and gain patience.
While he waited for his recovery, so did the fans. There was a buzz around the city of Philadelphia when the Sixers drafted Simmons first overall in 2016, and it will be heightened when he makes his debut.
“It’s amazing to still see the fans coming to games no matter if we’re 0-82,” Simmons said. “People still come out and show support.”