It is apparent that Ben Simmons is ready and willing to move on from the Philadelphia 76ers. It’s unclear if the feeling is mutual, however, it is the right move for both parties. Simmons had a horrific playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks and the fit just isn’t the greatest. Simmons took 10 3-pointers this season which is 0.17% of his total field goal attempts. Although this number could go up in future seasons, he clearly isn’t going to be an outside threat. Philadelphia can either wait until his value decreases even more or trade him now. The contract that Simmons has at the moment isn’t the best, and only a few teams would be willing to take it on. One of those teams is the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Philadelphia 76ers Trading Ben Simmons Has to Happen
- Philadelphia 76ers Receive: Malik Beasley, Jaden McDaniels, 2022 Second-Round Pick, 2023 First-Round Pick (Top-5 Protected), 2025 First-Round Pick
- Minnesota Timberwolves Receive: Ben Simmons, Isaiah Joe
Why should Philadelphia accept?
From a depth standpoint, the 76ers are a deep team that was the No. 1 seed in the east for a reason. Amongst their roster, they had a really nice blend of scorers and shooters in their starting lineup and bench. Therefore, their 49 wins were not a fluke. They are a talented team and will continue being so as long as they keep Joel Embiid. However, throughout the playoffs, they were met with inconsistency and mistakes. You could point the blame on many people. However, the majority of the blame belonged to Ben Simmons. Simmons was never known as a scorer, but averaging 10 points throughout the series as well as seven points throughout the final four games of the series, just isn’t something a contender wants from their second best player.
In this trade, Philadelphia clears around $18 million of cap space. This puts them in a great situation as well as acquiring two solid young players that will be on the books for multiple years. Malik Beasley has had off-court troubles but when he’s playing, he can give Philadelphia another scoring threat around Embiid. Jaden McDaniels is a very solid young player that will be in the league for a long time. He averaged around seven points on great defense as a rookie, and he can stretch the floor. Not only this, but they get three picks in return as well as two first-round picks. Losing the playmaking that Simmons brings hurts a bit, but the cap space they have opened up gives them a lot of flexibility in this regard.
Why should Minnesota accept?
Minnesota is in a great situation as now they have a borderline superstar-level player in Karl-Anthony Towns, as well as a young prospect with tons of potential in Anthony Edwards. They also have D’Angelo Russell and recently acquired Patrick Beverley as well. They can definitely make the play-in tournament and maybe make the playoffs. However, they likely won’t contend with this squad unless Edwards or Towns takes a massive stride.
This is where Ben Simmons comes in. Simmons gives the Timberwolves obvious playmaking and defensive boosts. Primarily, the defense is the most important part here. Last season, the Timberwolves had the fifth-worst DRTG in the NBA. Granted their best players missed time, this still isn’t great. On the other hand, Philadelphia was the second-best in that regard. Ben Simmons deserves a good amount of credit for that.
Moving D’Angelo Russell to more of a scorer role rather than being given the task of both is also very beneficial for the team moving forward. They also get flexibility in their roster as they can run many different starting lineups. They also bring in a shooter in Isaiah Joe. He likely won’t be in the rotation unless he improves. Minnesota can use shooters as they only shot 35% from distance collectively and their 3-point attempts only combined for 20% of the team’s total field goal attempts. Therefore, they can use all the help they need from beyond the arc.
Embed from Getty Images