76ers coach Brett Brown has always had every intention to make Ben Simmons a point guard.
His latest declaration of that came Wednesday. And the transformation will come sooner than the Sixers originally scheduled.
“When he’s ready to go to the court, my intention is to give him the ball and let him be the point guard,” Brown said. “That’s the plan. That doesn’t just happen. It takes a little bit of time to introduce him.”
To make room, the Sixers would slide Jerryd Bayless off the ball. However, Bayless would still guard the opposing team's point guards. That's of course if he's able to play. Bayless is sidelined with left wrist soreness caused by ligament damage.
The coach was talking about how the team is preparing the first overall pick for an expected January return.
Simmons suffered a Jones fracture in his right foot during the final day of training camp in September. The 6-foot-10, 250-pounder came out of Louisiana State point forward.
Brown initially talked about making Simmons the team’s point guard in the weeks after drafting him in June. Then the coach basically reiterated it after Simmons’ impressive Utah Summer League debut on July 4. He had 10 points, eight rebounds and five mostly electrifying assists in the loss to the Boston Celtics.
“Everyone gets all twisted on what their version of a point guard is," Brown told NBA.com at the time. "When I say 'point guard' I mean point guard. You've got the ball. You could call him Isiah Thomas, the old Isiah Thomas of my generation. You could call him Chris Paul. I mean point guard point guard. There are times I think that he can be a point guard. Not Draymond Green. Not LeBron [James]. Not Lamar Odom. That's a point forward. I walk both lines at different moments. To start him off, we'll play him as a point forward."
At the time, they wanted Simmons to get rebounds, lead the fast break, and initiate the offense in certain situations when the opportunities permit. The Sixers saw Simmons as a locomotive that can pass and handle the ball.
“It wouldn’t surprise me, if you fast-forwarded all this a few years where we may sort of declare him a point guard,” Brown said last week on NBA.com’s Hang Time Podcast. “Sometimes in my aggressive wishes, dreams, I say why don’t you just give him the ball?"
It turns out that plan went from a few years to a few months.