Ben Simmons made his long-awaited debut for the Philadelphia 76ers in their pre-season clash with the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night and produced an eye-catching display.
The Australian missed the whole of last season after injuring a foot but he could prove to be worth the wait for Sixers fans.
The team has taken a patient approach with him but he now looks ready to take the NBA by storm.
In just 21 minutes of action, Simmons posted six points, seven rebounds, and nine assists in the 110-89 loss to the Grizzlies.
The defeat was irrelevant for the 76ers as the talking point was clearly the performance of the 21-year-old and his passing ability in particular.
Head coach Brett Brown has said on numerous occasions that he will be his starting point guard and it was clear to see why.
Simmons dished out seven assists in the first half and beautifully led the Philly offence with his incredible court vision and ability to get the ball to teammates in the right spots.
The LSU product has been compared to LeBron James with his passing and unselfish style of basketball and the early evidence suggests it may not be a crazy comparison.
Before the game, Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale described the Aussie as a "super freak" due to his size and skill and was even more impressed after seeing him in action close up.
“Oh my god, I don’t want to see that for the next 15 years,” Fizdale said about Simmons. “That kid, they’re not talking about him enough.
"The way he moves with the ball, his ability to see the floor, the way he can get places on the floor. Once he gets confidence in his shot where you really have to close out all the way to the [three-point line], wow. He is a big-time talent.”
Simmons' own coach was also left purring by the youngster's display and explained the moments that stood out to him.
“I mean his breakaway speed, his ability to get to the rim, the pace of which he plays, I love," Brown said. "His ability to see things, find corners when defensive players just nudge him over, he can find stuff well.”
It was the first competitive action the 2015 number one pick has had since participating in the Summer League last summer and the good news is that he isn't showing any effects of his foot injury.
The optimism was already high for the new season in Philadelphia, but Simmons has raised it even more by showing what he's got in store for the fans.
They begin their campaign with a trip to the nation's capital to face the Washington Wizards on October 20.News Now - Sport News