Ben Simmons lists his top five defenders in the NBA (including Jimmy Butler)

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There have been as many NBA debates as you would expect during the league's current indefinite suspension in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. On Thursday, Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons weighed in on the best defenders in the league while playing video games and streaming with SLAM Director of eSports Development Duaneiverse

Simmons listed five players, saying that in his opinion Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Marcus Smart, and fellow 76ers star Joel Embiid were the five best defenders in the NBA. He began by stating how important defensive versatility is to him, saying, "I play ball, I'm looking at guys who can guard 1 through 5, man."

Leonard, Davis, Butler-Simmons teammate for one season in Philadelphia-and Smart all rank in the top-40 in ESPN's defensive Real-Plus minus. Interestingly enough, Embiid is ranked lower (66th, 0.83) than teammate Tobias Harris (35th, 1.13), who Simmons did not mention. But alas, ESPN's RPM is not the end-all-be-all defensive stat, and Embiid is clearly one of the league's premier rim protectors. Embiid also has the best defensive rating (per NBA.com) of anyone on the Sixers.

Butler's Heat have the 14th best defensive rating in the league but he did excel on D in his matchups against Simmons and the Sixers this season. Butler had at least two steals in every game against the Sixers in the 2019-20 season, including a 3-steal effort in a 31-point win over Philadelphia on February 3rd. 

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Ben Simmons lists his top five defenders in the NBA (including Jimmy Butler) originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago