Top 5 travel destinations for Ben Simmons
Another year, another disappointing playoff loss for the Philadelphia 76ers. After securing the number 1 in the Eastern Conference, the Doc Rivers roster was shockingly upset by the Atlanta Hawks.
The main topic of conversation that emerged from this failure was the future of Guardian Ben Simmons. After finishing second in the Defensive Player of the Year voting, the multiple All-Star shrank in the playoffs.
Not only was Simmons unwilling to take jump shots, his free throw shooting during the playoffs was really shocking. This meant that the nominal point guard could not execute the point for the offense for fear of being deliberately sent on the line. Combined with his lack of outside shooting ability, all he could do was sit in the darker’s court and clog the paint for one of the NBA’s best low-post players, Joel Embiid.
All of this appeared to be the final nail in the coffin for the Embiid-Simmons era in Philadelphia. Simmons clearly needs a fresh start and the Sixers need to find a better fit for their franchise player Joel Emiid.
Indeed, some Betting sites have posted quotas for where Simmons will trade over the course of the off-season.
According to PointsBet, The top 5 trading destinations for Simmons are:
Portland Trailblazer (+250)
This is the most talked about landing site for Simmons since the Sixers were eliminated. It makes sense on paper. Portland is in a similar location to Philadelphia. They’re trying to build a contender around Damian Lillard while he’s still in his prime, just like the Sixers are trying to do with Embiid. And like Philly, multiple playoff outcomes prompt the Blazers to rethink how their squad is constructed.
A swap from CJ McCollum for Ben Simmons would make a lot of sense. McCollum would provide Embiid the much-needed clearance to operate low while Simmons would be able to play Damian Lillard instead of being the main initiator of the offense.
Portland could even use former sixer Robert Covington to sweeten the pot for Philly and replace some of the defense they would lose if Simmons gave up.
Washington Wizard (+300)
Sixers fans reading this no doubt dream of Bradley Beal coming to Philadelphia to be the Robin of Embiid’s Batman. At one point, a Simmons-Beal swap would have made sense as a one-on-one move.
However, Simmons’ disastrous playoff performance has most likely affected its trade value. If Philly is to get Bradley Beal out of the country’s capital, they’ll likely have to involve at least one talented young player – like Tyrese Maxey or Matisse Thybulle – and some draft capital.
San Antonio Spurs (+450)
Could Gregg Popovich see Ben Simmons as a buy-low project? The Spurs certainly have a history of taking offensively limited players and teaching them to shoot. Under the guidance of Pop and shooting coach Chip Engelland, Kawhi Leonard has, as is well known, evolved from a one-dimensional defender to one of the best scorers in the league. And with DeMar DeRozan Rumor has it that they are considering leaving San Antonio freewho have favourited Spurs need a franchise player to build around.
But how they could swing it is another question. San Antonio has some solid young pieces, including the guards Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker, and Derrick White. Packing one or two of these players with draft capital might be a bargain for the over-talented Simmons.
For Philadelphia, however, this could be a tough sell. While these are lovely young pieces, I’m not sure if they bring the Sixers any closer to a title. Perhaps a three-team deal could help ease Simmons’ move to the Lone Star State.
Utah Jazz (+550)
Another franchise that’s stuck at the very good but not very good levels, the Utah Jazz could be a potential home for Ben Simmons. With their very own defensive standout shrinking in the playoffs at Rudy Gobert, jazz may have to stir up a bit this off-season.
While Donovan Mitchell makes a lot of sense as an Embiid pal, the Jazz are unlikely to give up on their franchise unless he forces his way out. In addition, Gobert makes no sense at the Sixers next to Embiid.
A three-team trade could result in Gobert ending up elsewhere while the Jazz acquire Simmons and the Sixers make Embiid a full-blown vice president.
Oklahoma City Thunder (+550)
OKC has tons of young players and an amazing amount of draft capital over the next few seasons after selling Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Chris Paul. They also recently traded in for aging point guard Kemba Walker, who doesn’t exactly match what they’re trying to do.
While the Thunder in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander seemingly already have their franchise player, Simmons could well fit next to him. You are as close to a blank board as you can get in today’s NBA and could form the team around your two building blocks. For a rebuilding team like the Thunder, it’s logical to buy in an extremely talented youngster like Simmons too low.
Maybe Walker and some first-round picks could end up in Philly in exchange for Simmons. This would give the Sixers a true point guard for the first time in years while replenishing some of their lost draft capital.