PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — 76ers head coach Brett Brown has said it over and over again. The plan is for Ben Simmons to play point guard.
Therefore, the Sixers — who own the No. 3 overall pick — are ideally looking to add a complimentary combo guard who can score and play alongside Simmons in this month’s NBA Draft.
But what if UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball, expected to go second overall to the Lakers, falls to the Sixers at No. 3? Can Ball coexist on the floor with the similar high basketball IQ, unselfish type perimeter layer in Simmons?
“Uh, that’s a tough one,” UCLA head coach Steve Alford told the 94WIP Midday Show on Tuesday. “I don’t know if you draft Lonzo Ball not to be a point guard ’cause to me he’s a point guard, that’s his DNA. He did some very good things for us off the ball this year, but if you really want the strengths of who Lonzo is and what he’s about, he creates with the basketball.
“It doesn’t mean you can’t play him off the ball, but I think those that are gonna be the most interested in Lonzo and drafting Lonzo, are drafting him at the point position.”
What could make Ball a bit more attractive for the Sixers than a traditional point guard, is his ability to shoot. Although his form is certainly awkward, it goes in. Ball made 80 three’s on 194 attempts, an impressive 41.2-percent clip for a freshman.
“I don’t know Ben’s game as much, I can only speak with Lonzo, but we had a lot of really good players on the floor this year with Lonzo,” Alford admitted. “And Lonzo can play with anybody. In regards to who that player is, I think Lonzo helps make that player better.
As for Lonzo’s polarizing father LaVar, Alford says he was not a problem at all.
“No, it was zero challenge [coaching Lonzo] because there were zero distractions from our end,” Alford said. “LaVar never called, he was never at a practice, so there was no distractions whatsoever.
“I don’t see any distractions or any issues with LaVar.”