Australian NBA star Ben Simmons must learn how to sacrifice to get the most out of Philadelphia’s major signing Jimmy Butler in their championship push.
That’s the belief of Australian great Andrew Gaze, who also predicts teething problems for 76ers coach Brett Brown to mesh their new ‘big three’ together.
“I suspect that they might go through some tough times to start with. Eventually you figure it out and learn how to play with each other and get it going,” Gaze said.
“That’s what we all hope because we all love Brett, and we all love Ben, and want nothing but success for them.”
Butler will make his hugely anticipated franchise debut alongside Simmons when Philadelphia meet Orlando on Thursday (AEDT).
And how the pair combine with fellow star Joel Embiid will be key for a 76ers side that is currently third in the Eastern Conference.
They also traded away two key starters in Robert Covington and Dario Saric as part of the deal to land the four-time All-Star to the club.
Gaze, who appeared in 19 games for San Antonio when they claimed their maiden championship in 1998-99, said the trio will need to share the ball.
“They’ve had to give up a couple of really good players,” Gaze said.
“You’re always concerned when you’ve got such a star-studded line-up, how you develop your roles and most importantly, how the players accept their roles.”
Gaze said the challenge for Brown will be to get his stars to sacrifice.
“Those that get the talent – and get them to buy in – are usually the ones that have success,” he said.
“If Jimmy and Ben and Embiid, they all buy in to sharing the ball and the betterment of the team, then it’s going to be great.
“If it doesn’t work out that way, you’re only going to know in hindsight whether this is a good move or bad move.
“But I’m sure they’ve studied it and realised that perhaps in order to get to that next level where they want to go, they may need another marquee superstar.”
For the season, Simmons is averaging 14.9 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 7.7 assists in 32.5 minutes per game.