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5 Teams That Could Trade for Ben Simmons’ Expiring Contract

Nets guard Ben Simmons goes up for a layup

Brooklyn Nets point guard Ben Simmons has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a nerve impingement, and his time with the franchise is drawing to a close.

This is the case whether or not the Nets trade him, as he’ll be on the final year of a $177.2 million contract next season. However, to extract maximum value from Simmons, trading him could be their best course of action.

5 Teams That Could Trade for Ben Simmons’ Expiring Contract

Though Simmons’ current value to the Nets is $40.4 million which will come off of their books, several teams could offer that or more.

Charlotte Hornets

The Charlotte Hornets are projected to have $40.1 million in practical cap space this offseason. With that number, they could absorb Simmons’ cap space in full, while offering the Brooklyn Nets draft assets in return.

At this point, Simmons is unlike to fetch a first-round pick. However, the Hornets do have three first-round picks in the 2027 NBA Draft and could be willing to surrender one for Simmons if they believe he can be an asset for longer than one season. Charlotte also has nine second-round picks through the 2030 NBA Draft. They could send one or more of them to the Nets in addition to or instead of a first-round pick.

If the Hornets opt not to absorb him into their cap space, they could use his salary for matching purposes in a Miles Bridges sign-and-trade. In this scenario, Brooklyn would surrender at least one prized asset, be it a first-round pick or a player such as Cam Thomas. Thomas is in line for an extension and while he’s been a spectacular scorer, he’s a relatively one-dimensional player. Overpaying him could be foolhardy.

With the Hornets, Thomas can man a role similar to the one that Terry Rozier played for them. At least offensively. In doing so, Charlotte has one less need to address and one more player that can step up for the injury-prone LaMelo Ball.

San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs are one of the few teams that make sense for Simmons on the court. With an inside-out scorer and post-playmaker like Victor Wembanyama at center, Simmons has more runway to the rim than he currently has in Brooklyn. Considering former teammate Joel Embiid’s skillset, Simmons might be a perfect match beside Wembanyama.

This feeling should be reciprocated, with the Spurs needing to improve their point guard play to maximize Wembanyama’s potential. Simmons’ size and defensive presence help feed their desire for a highly switchable defensive lineup lineup. Lastly, his passivity as a scorer might be problematic at times. However, it prevents him from stepping on the toes of core perimeter players like Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, and Malaki Branham.

Projected to have $34.4 million in practical cap space, trading for Simmons might require as little as the contract of Devonte’ Graham and light draft compensation. Graham will also be on an expiring deal, though his figure ($12.7 million) is far lower than Simmons’. To that point, this deal puts San Antonio in a position to sign a star in the summer of 2025.

Portland Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers might be regretting their trade for Deandre Ayton.

Inconsistency and injury have plagued the Bahamian big man throughout the season. Averaging a career-low 14.3 points per contest, and suiting up for just 40 of 62 possible games, Ayton has let plenty of points slip through his fingers on both ends. That’s not a pun on him having the fourth-most lost ball turnovers (28) for Portland while playing just two-thirds of the season. It could be though.

To be frank, Ayton has come on strong as of late, averaging 20.0 points, 13.0 rebounds, and 1.0 steal per game since the All-Star Break. In fact, over his last 13 games, he’s averaging 18.1 points, 11.2 rebounds, 1.0 steal, and 1.0 block per game. Furthermore, Ayton remains an underrated and fundamentally sound defender.

However, owed $69.5 million over the next two seasons, an opportunity to get from out under his salary early could be willing. Especially if it comes with the promise of draft capital, with the Blazers committing to a rebuild when they traded former face of the franchise Damian Lillard. For the Nets, acquiring Ayton ends conversations and concerns about re-signing Nic Claxton. A free agent at the end of the season, his salary demands might make him a bit too pricey for Brooklyn.

Toronto Raptors

When the Toronto Raptors opted to hold onto Bruce Brown at the trade deadline, they put themselves in a position to use his hefty contract in an offseason trade.

Such a deal might not have ever been intended to include Simmons. However, with the Raptors acquiring a stretch-five in Kelly Olynyk, they could be. Furthermore, Simmons, Olynyk, and Scottie Barnes all excel as passers. This only increases the likelihood that they could benefit each other in a starting lineup.

Yet, with $43.4 million in practical cap space, Toronto could simply absorb Simmons’ salary. Rolling the dice on Simmons due to his point guard prowess, his acquisition allows the team to put Immanuel Quickley back in his natural role as a score-first guard. He also increases their defensive upside, which is particularly notable. The Raptors rank in the bottom-10 of the NBA in opponents’ points per game (118.0) and defensive rating (118.0).

With enough expendable draft assets to make it worth the Nets’ while, a trip across the border could be in store for the Melbourne native.

Washington Wizards

Trading Simmons to the Washington Wizards could bring Kyle Kuzma or Jordan Poole to Brooklyn.

The Wizards of the worst teams in the NBA. It’s a franchise that doesn’t necessarily lack direction. Yet, they appear misguided. Building around two high-volume scorers with questionable shot selection was always a risky venture. That they have drafted or signed so many off-ball forwards is head-scratching.

It’s of little surprise that the Wizards are tied with the Detroit Pistons for the worst record in the NBA. However, unlike Washington, the Pistons don’t employ an NBA champion. Let alone two, underscoring the Wizards’ incompetence.

D.C. would highly benefit from a trade that allowed them to clear at least one of Kuzma or Poole’s salaries.

To that point, both Kuzma and Poole are under contract through the 2026-27 season. Yet, Kuzma’s salary will steadily decrease to $19.4 million. Poole’s will progressively increase to $34 million. This would seem to make Poole the more likely acquisition for the Nets.

Between Poole and Thomas, Brooklyn’s backcourt could put a lot of points on the board. Both players could also decrease the detrimental defensive pressure that Mikal Bridges is facing.

In Simmons’ sole season in D.C., he could be a great fit. Several Wizards players are at their best when spotting up behind the line or cutting to the rim. A set-up artist such as Simmons would make their lives easier.


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