The Athletic places Sixers star Ben Simmons in the 3C tier ranking

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons is one of the more polarizing stars in the NBA. There is so much the 6-foot-10 3-time All-Star can do out on the floor, but his shortcomings have become an eyesore for some as he continues to have issues on the offensive end of the floor, especially in the playoffs.

That is why he has begun to drop off in terms of player rankings and how others have begun to view him. While some still consider Simmons as a very talented player, he may not be in the top tier of rankings anymore.

The Athletic has begun ranking the players around the NBA in terms of tiers and they have Simmons in the third tier of players. He was in their 3A tier entering the 2020-21 season, but now, he has dropped to the 3C tier.

The Athletic’s Seth Partnow on their ranking of Simmons:

Simmons is a bit more extreme both in terms of the positives — he is quite possibly the most versatile and valuable perimeter defender in the league — and the negatives. You may have seen, heard or read that he struggles to shoot and at times avoids even attempting to score out of apparent skittishness over getting fouled. The pairing with Joel Embiid is highly imperfect, as the same spacing ability Simmons lacks is among the skills most needed to play with and off the most dominant post scorer in the game today. But the lack of fit between the two is far from total.

They make a formidable core for having a top defense, and when right and engaged, Simmons can drive transition offense about as well as anyone else in the league aside from Westbrook. Moreover, attempts to integrate the two stars into the same offensive concept could have been more creative over the last few years. I don’t know if the Sixers’ present roster will permit the sort of experimentation needed to allow the pair to fully succeed, so it is possible Simmons needs a fresh start somewhere else, but whoever trades for him could reap the benefit of unlocking his multitudinous talents in a more space-heavy system and context.

At the end of the day, Simmons is still one of the more talented players in the game. He can affect winning in so many ways, but the big issue of him not shooting the ball and struggling from the free-throw line continues to hold the team back a bit on the offensive end of the floor. It makes a lot of sense why he would drop a bit in some player rankings.

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