The Ben Simmons saga in Philadelphia continues. And the longer it goes, more and more teams seemingly get involved in the rumors, which makes finding real Ben Simmons trade destinations that much harder.
This tweet and the Shams Charania story for The Athletic led to NBA twitter swirling new trade ideas around in their collective head. It’s easy to fall into this trap and think of every trade possible. And with that, a lot of bad trade ideas get passed around. Let’s sort through some ideas and see if we can find a realistic (and fun) trade for the three time All-Star.
The Boston Celtics – Nay
We’ll start with the team that got all of this started last night. This trade would require Boston sending Jaylen Brown to the 76ers. Brown as the lead perimeter offensive threat would be a fun wrinkle in his game, and he and Embiid would make a hellacious defensive duo. Boston however would need something to give up a young franchise center-piece for a player who is not currently playing.
With all of that in mind. This trade is a Nay for me. There’s no way Boston can give up Brown. They didn’t do it four years ago when he was still a prospect for Kawhi Leonard, and they certainly won’t do it now that he’s at the top of his game (and still rising).
The Golden State Warriors – Nay
Another one to quickly move past. The Ben Simmons-Warriors link has been there since the beginning. We all love the idea of Simmons playing the 5 in a Draymond Green role where on offense he sets screens, cuts and passes, then defensively causes mayhem. But can we count on that actually happening? And more importantly, can the Warriors?
Golden State is trying to win a championship this season. Off to a 9-1 start, they are back to playing the style that they want to. The ball moves quickly on offense and so do the players. There is no reason to make a change as drastic as this now.
The Los Angeles Clippers – Nay
Ok this one is silly. But hear me out. Kawhi Leonard has a weird history with injuries. The last time he was cagey about what turned out to be a long-term injury? He demanded a trade from San Antonio.
The Clippers are currently 5-4 and running everything through Paul George. And not just, “Paul George is the leader of the Clippers” running everything through him. More like, “Reggie Jackson plays 35 minutes a night and Eric Bledsoe is in the starting lineup” running everything through him. If Leondard goes dark and the Clippers get antsy…I’m not saying…I’m just saying.
Ultimately I am saying this doesn’t happen. Just to be clear.
The Cleveland Cavaliers – Nay
This idea has come and gone in the recent months. It is fun that’s for sure. And in practice does make some sense. Cleveland wants to win. They appear to have a franchise big man in Evan Mobley. There’s a lot of nice pieces on this team. Simmons would bring a level of talent and stardom that could help this team get in the playoffs. They also have a big contract in Kevin Love who seemingly is ready to move on.
On the Sixers side, the one thing seemingly missing from their team is a lead guard who can create. Maxey has done an admirable job to start the season, but can they add to him?
The Sixers aren’t getting Darius Garland. They just aren’t. But Collin Sexton still provides that scoring ability as a ball handler. Ultimately though, this deal doesn’t have enough star power for GM Morey.
The Minnesota Timberwolves – Nay
This deal is similar in structure. A young team that wants to win, who has a lead guard that could fit in Philadelphia. A place for Simmons to go and raise the floor and play defensive anchor for a young big man. A big 3 of Simmons, Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards has arguably more potential than Simmons-Garland-Mobley.
D’Angelo Russell gives you the same type of player as Sexton. Plus he’s under contract. Malik Beasley also provides you with shooting to makeup for Seth Curry, who also has to go out in the trade because of the contracts. Ultimately though, still not enough star power, and Russell and Beasley are too unproven when it comes to trying to compete.
The Orlando Magic – Yay
Have a guard that is having confidence issues with his jump shot? Maybe you play basketball in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania? Send him to the Magic! Just ask Markelle Fultz.
While Simmons might not love this move, it’s a chance for a team to be built around him (just don’t tell Cole Anthony). The Magic are still a mess, and with an iffy draft history should look to bring in a sure-thing.
Defensively Jonathan Issac is in theory what, 80% of Ben Simmons? Plus Jalen Suggs has real All-Star level potential. Coming off of an awesome college season that netted him the 5th overall pick in this year’s draft, he should have plenty of star power for Philly. Yes they want someone who is already a star, but they might have to settle on high upside.
The reason I like this move for Philly is it gets them a combination of high upside, but also guys who will help their team right now. If Isaac is ever healthy, we know what he can do defensively. Suggs is a young star in the making at a position of need. And Terrence Ross can actually play in a playoff series. And for the Magic, they still have plenty of young players to put around Simmons as they continue to build towards the future.
The Sacramento Kings – Yay, Yay, Yay
The people’s trade! Call it in! Huzzah! De’Aaron Fox, as of today, might be the best player the Sixers can realistically get for Simmons. In terms of ranking point guards in the league, he’s Memphis Mike Conley. Just below what you’d consider your top 10 point guards, and maybe in the Eastern Conference could make an All-Star team. While he’s off to a shaky start this year (18.6 points and 6.2 assists) we’ve seen Fox be the exact player the Sixers should look to add. And while we’re at it, let’s add some more pedigree and give Marvin Bagley III the fresh start everyone wants for him. Try him out with Andre Drummond’s 20 minutes-per-game as the backup center and see what happens.
Like the last few teams, this move raises Sacramento’s floor and can help them compete for the playoffs. This also allows them to lean into their young first-round guards Tyrese Haliburton and Davion Mitchell. Mitchell-Haliburton-Simmons-Harrison Barnes–Richaun Holmes, plus Buddy Hield as the Sixth Man is a team that can compete…for the play-in.
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