Ben Simmons has probably plateaued with the Philadelphia 76ers and fallen out of Philly fans’ good graces. The relationship is beyond repair.
Simmons can’t really blame anyone but himself. Poor shooting is the main reason why he has gone from Philly franchise star to a flawed, stubborn player who refuses to work on his game despite numerous playoff failures.
Ben Simmons is shooting 32.8% on free throws in the playoffs this year
— Basketball Reference (@bball_ref) June 17, 2021
After another early exit in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Hawks, the fans turned on Simmons. His refusal to shoot the ball infuriated them even more than his inability to do it.
Simmons couldn’t handle the ribbing from NBA fans across the country.
The man LeBron James once called “Young King” has decided to bail out of Philly before his stock gets any lower. The Australian baller requested a trade from the Sixers in August and is prepared to hold out of training camp, which begins in less than a month, if a move doesn’t come to fruition.
The trade request hasn’t gained him any new supporters. In fact, Charles Barkley and Shaq Deisel took turns on Shaq’s “Big Podcast” ripping Simmons about everything from his desire to his Ferrari to his rotation of model girlfriends.
It’s getting bad for Ben. Maybe he can turn things around in the right place.
Here are some ideal trade packages that could benefit both Simmons and the Sixers if they part ways.
The possibility of Ben Simmons being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves has been no secret. Minnesota would love to team Simmons up with fellow Klutch Sports clients D’Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards.
“I’m real curious about this offseason for the Minnesota Timberwolves because they have an opportunity here to get a guy like Ben Simmons… I don’t think they get him without putting Anthony Edwards in a trade.” @tomhaberstroh says MINN needs more than DLo for a Simmons trade pic.twitter.com/JiafxNcCm5
— Brother From Another on Peacock TV (@HolleyandSmith) September 6, 2021
He and Russell were high school teammates at national power Montverde Academy. That plan is farfetched because the Wolves don’t have the assets to swing a deal without parting ways with one of those three promising players.
Russell would be the most expendable piece, along with Jaden McDaniels, Malik Beasley, and a future first-round pick. That package could probably swing them, Simmons and Seth Curry. Adding Curry to the mix with Simmons brings in one of the best perimeter shooters in the league.
San Antonio Spurs
Gregg Popovich has been looking for a star player since Kawhi Leonard forced a trade out of San Antonio in 2018-19. Maybe adding Simmons gives him that, but it’s probably going to take rising star Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Kelvin Johnson and two future first-round picks to make the deal happen.
I asked Spurs coach Gregg Popovich if Ben Simmons has to shoot to be elite in the NBA
“It would enhance his game”
“He's so elite already, who gives a damn if he can't shoot?"
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) March 14, 2021
Simmons really needs a credible coach to light a fire under him, and who better than “Coach Pop”? The future Hall of Fame coach is coming off an Olympic gold medal where he had to adjust to the personalities of superstars.
Plus, the Spurs organization has an immaculate record of developing talent, particularly international players. Maybe Simmons can blossom under that kind of tutelage.
Spurs have missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons and obviously need a shake-up.
The Toronto Raptors experienced euphoria in 2019. Kawhi Leonard led them to their only NBA Finals appearance and title. Then he broke the heart of Canadian hoops fans and skipped town after one glorious season north of the border.
Maybe NBA All-Star Pascal Siakim and Malachi Flynn are enough for Simmons. Toronto’s not going anywhere without another star. With rookie top-five pick Scottie Barnes in the mix, trading the veteran might make sense.
Siakam is just 27 years old and averaged 22.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists on 45 percent shooting from the field the last two seasons. He’d be a tremendous fit next to Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris in the frontcourt.
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are in a tough position. Do they trade young assets for Simmons? Or do they stand pat and hope Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman and Moses Moody develop into a legit “Big Three.”
Those guys plus a first-round pick seem to be a bit much for the aging Warriors to relinquish for Simmons. Recent reports indicate that Philly may have to include Tyrese Maxey in any trade with Simmons. They are both Klutch Sports clients and could end up being packaged together in a deal
Golden State was not willing to match Philadelphia’s absurd asking price for Simmons ahead of the 2021 NBA draft. Things have obviously changed since. The proposed trade would give Philadelphia’s front office head Daryl Morey more flexibility as he attempts to find another star to team up with Embiid.