It’s clear that Ben Simmons has probably plateaued with the Philadelphia 76ers and fallen out of the fans’ good graces beyond repair due to poor free throw shooting, poor general shooting and other reasons.
Thus, here are some great trade scenarios centered around Simmons that can help the Sixers build a real championship contender around Joel Embiid.
Ben Simmons to San Antonio Spurs
- 76ers get: DeMar DeRozan (sign-and-trade), Lonnie Walker IV and a 1st-round pick
- Spurs get: Ben Simmons
Simmons really needs a credible coach to light a fire under him, and an organization that has an immaculate record of developing talent, particularly international players.
Oh wait, what better description is there for the San Antonio Spurs under Gregg Popovich? The team has missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons and obviously needs a shake-up. One way to start is bringing in Simmons, because if any franchise can get the most out of him, it’s the Spurs.
DeMar DeRozan is hitting free agency, so he’d need to agree to a sign-and-trade. A straight-up trade for someone like Simmons who’s clearly in his prime wouldn’t work for Philly, so shooting guard Lonnie Walker IV gets kicked into the package in addition to a first-round draft selection.
Now that he’s evolved into more of a slashing point-forward type, imagine what DeRozan could do with his playmaking ability, versatile offensive arsenal and steady shooting touch from the free throw line and in the mid-range game. It’s the perfect antidote to what ails the Sixers right now.
Come on, if Simmons went to San Antonio, you’d have to be rooting for him to lead the Spurs back to prominence.
Ben Simmons to Utah Jazz
- 76ers get: Mike Conley (sign-and-trade), Udoka Azubuike, and a 1st-round pick
- Jazz get: Ben Simmons
The problem with Philadelphia building around Joel Embiid instead of Simmons is that the big man has an extensive injury history. At least some frontcourt depth and insurance would be welcome, and the Utah Jazz could provide that in this deal with Udoka Azubuike.
To focus back on Simmons, if he leaves the Sixers, they need another floor general — and a good one at that. Mike Conley fits the bill. He’s the epitome of class, professionalism and leadership. Oh, and he’s such a better shooter than Simmons.
Conley has had a nagging hamstring injury plague him throughout the 2021 playoffs, but as long as he can stay relatively healthy for a couple years, he’d give Philadelphia a real shot at a Larry O’Brien Trophy in Simmons’ stead.
Utah already has Donovan Mitchell to be an offensive catalyst on the perimeter, and Simmons would lift the Jazz’s defense to an entirely other level, particularly since they lack elite defenders on the wing. Simmons can flex out there and thrive because of his size and lateral quickness.
The Jazz also have enough 3-point shooting around Simmons to maximize his upside as a distributor, and a lane-clearing force in Rudy Gobert to part the seas for him when he attacks the basket.
Ben Simmons to Cleveland Cavaliers
- 76ers get: Kevin Love and a 2022 first-round pick
- Cavaliers get: Ben Simmons
The admitted hole in this trade scenario is the fact that the Sixers don’t really have a viable point guard presence if it’s a straight-up swap for Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star Kevin Love. However, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks here, and there’s always George Hill to run the point if need be. Or some combination of Shake Milton and Tyrese Maxey.
If you put Simmons on the perimeter in Cleveland with the likes of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland — both of whom the Cavs should be reluctant to trade — they can form a small-ball lineup that’s the stuff of nightmares for any defense.
Then again, even if Cleveland put Sexton in this package, as the team is rumored to want to trade him, it’d free up a lot of future salary cap flexibility. Imagine, though, the Cavs retaining Sexton and restricted free-agent center Jarrett Allen and getting Simmons? I mean, talk about a win of an offseason in Cleveland, right?
As for Philly’s end of this, it’s painfully obvious Love needs a change of scenery and a winning culture. The Sixers need someone of his Love’s size to space the floor and crash the boards, taking some of the frontcourt burden off of Embiid.
Everything lines up here in terms of what Love is looking for and what the Sixers are seeking.
Ben Simmons to Houston Rockets
- 76ers get: John Wall and two 1st-round picks
- Rockets get: Ben Simmons and George Hill
You might say John Wall’s max contract is too exorbitant to justify taking on. Then again, he’s kind of perfect for what the Sixers are looking for in a Simmons exchange.
The Houston Rockets are in a bad state right now. They need youth and star power, both of which Simmons provides. He’d be moving to a big market, with the chance to join forces alongside an incoming potential superstar in the 2021 NBA Draft and a promising big man in Christian Wood at the very least.
Wall hasn’t ever really gotten a chance to live up to expectations between an underwhelming stint with the Washington Wizards, and more recently, injuries setting him back. He’s in a hopeless spot with the Rockets, but competing for a championship would reinvigorate him.
Although he doesn’t boast the overall defensive skill set Simmons does, Wall is a similarly explosive athlete even this deep into his NBA career, not to mention a much better shooter in every way.