Yes, it’s premature to say Ben Simmons will be on the trading block this offseason. It’s probably more than likely that the Philadelphia 76ers will hold onto them. With that being said, Philadelphia is fresh off a disappointing playoffs exit where Simmons was largely a non-factor on offense, especially in crunch time. Simply put, it’s rough for Philadelphia to keep their $177 million man on the bench to close out games. A shake-up may be what this team needs.
Three Ben Simmons Trade Packages
Go Big or Go Home
This trade, of course, requires Lillard to demand a trade. If not then there’s virtually no scenario where Portland gives up their superstar. If he wants out, Lillard will surely know that teaming up with Joel Embiid will form of the best one-two punches in the entire league. This actually makes Philadelphia a lot better, which is often rare when trading a max-level player. Losing out on a promising young player like Maxey and future picks may sting, but it will all be forgotten once Lillard averages over 25 points per game and takes the Sixers for a ride into multiple deep playoff runs.
For Portland, they offer Simmons a fresh start. It’s clear he struggles with shooting, but overall Simmons is still a special talent. He’s a freak athlete, one of the best defenders in the entire league, and a great passer. Simmons will also just turn 25-years-old this summer, so he’s still about to enter his prime years.
In addition, Maxey is looking more and more like a potential starter in the future. His rookie season was very strong, and he even played important minutes in the playoffs. He’s also just 20-years-old.
The future picks will likely be towards the end of drafts due to a Lillard-Embiid pairing, but there are still often diamonds in the rough found there. Those picks can also be useful in future trade negotiations.
Defense for Offense
Philadelphia sacrifices two All-NBA defensive players here. Simmons, as previously mentioned, can lock down virtually any player on his day while Thybulle is still young and already making All-NBA defensive teams while playing less than 20 minutes a game. At his trajectory, especially in a less-crowded depth chart, Thybulle can become one of the league’s better “three-and-d” specialists.
Sacrificing some defense for one of the best scorers in the league may be just what Philadelphia needs. Beal is a threat to go for 30+ points on any given night and a one-two punch of him and Embiid will also keep opposing teams awake at night. It’s a match made in heaven, as Philadelphia can use players like Maxey and Seth Curry as primary ball-handlers, although Beal can certainly do that as well.
Like the Lillard trade, this requires Beal to want out. His name is always hot on the rumor mill, but he’s not yet shown a clear indication that he wants to leave the Wizards. Washington, however, isn’t on a championship trajectory so it wouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise if Beal looks elsewhere.
Ben Simmons Heads South, Philadelphia Takes a Gamble
First off, Philadelphia lands a more traditional point guard in Wall. Houston will likely look to dump his contract, although Wall looked decently healthy and played well this past season. Due to his injuries, many forget Wall is just 30-years-old. If he can stay healthy, he still has a few more seasons at a top-level. Philadelphia’s gamble here is the draft pick. This draft is top-heavy, and there are very solid options for the Sixers to peak at. Houston probably doesn’t do this if they land the number one overall pick, but may consider it if the pick is at number four.
Houston will need to believe that Simmons is worth more than who they can get at four, which can easily happen. Sure, Simmons wasn’t great in the playoffs, but year by year he’s had fantastic performances. Pairing him up with a core of Christian Wood, Kevin Porter Jr., Jae’Sean Tate, and other young players will bode well for Houston’s future. In addition, they let go of Wall and his hefty contract that doesn’t necessarily fit the Rockets timeline.
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