The pressure is on for Sacramento to finally field a winning
team and snap their 15-year playoff drought. Whether it be Simmons
or Pascal Siakam, I’ve suggested that the Kings finally push their
chips into the middle of the table for an aggressive win-now
Simmons would be the perfect piece to fit into their puzzle
alongside De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. The Kings’ backcourt
duo had a positive net rating last season, and adding Simmons to
the mix gives them a very fun playmaking trio that can play off one
Playing the four alongside Richaun Holmes provides little
spacing, but Simmons could become the de-facto primary ball handler
with Fox and Haliburton providing spacing around the perimeter. A
potential starting unit featuring Fox, Haliburton, Harrison Barnes,
Simmons and Richaun Holmes could hold up on both ends of the
Philadelphia receives: Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley III,
two first-round picks
Sacramento receives: Ben Simmons
In a similar position as Sacramento, Minnesota could rise in the
Western Conference with an impact move. Karl-Anthony Towns is a
bonafide superstar, while Anthony Edwards has great potential.
Tossing Simmons into the Timberwolves’ lineup would be exactly how
they can become a more well-rounded team.
The question is, would Minnesota pull the trigger on trading
Towns’ good friend D’Angelo Russell? If so, Minnesota’s new Big 3
would be outstanding.
Imagine the endless possibilities with Simmons flanking Towns
and Edwards. The Wolves’ primary scoring duo could still have their
way offensively, but Simmons would be the glue holding everything
together from a playmaking and defensive standpoint.
Philadelphia receives: D’Angelo Russell, Jaden
McDaniels, future first-round pick
Minnesota receives: Ben Simmons
SAN ANTONIO SPURS
What exactly are the Spurs up to right now? Signing Doug
McDermott and Bryn Forbes, San Antonio might be picturing a
scenario where they are good enough to push for the playoffs. The
strategy for San Antonio should revolve around tanking and focusing
on the internal development of their young core.
However, if the Spurs want to make one more big push before head
coach Gregg Popovich’s presumed retirement, maybe a Simmons trade
could go down.
San Antonio has a strong ecosystem in which Simmons could
rebuild his value. Surrounded by plus three-point shooters, Simmons
can reach his ceiling in a role where everything is built around
Philadelphia receives: Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker,
Thaddeus Young, future first-round pick
San Antonio receives: Ben Simmons
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
Would the Warriors even be interested in Simmons? It’s a real
question to ask with Draymond Green already playing a similar role.
However, as Green ages, he’s the perfect mentor for Simmons to
Golden State has one big move left up their sleeve with Andrew
Wiggins' contract and a lot of young prospects — James Wiseman,
Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody and Jordan Poole. Surely they have
their eyes on All-NBA talents such as Damian Lillard and Bradley
Beal, but Simmons could be the most realistic player to add with
their current collection of assets.
Imagining Simmons flanked by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson is
a fun exercise, too. Maybe down the line, this is the type of
environment where Simmons could become a player where the offense
is adequately spaced for him to feast on drives to the basket.
Philadelphia receives: Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman,
Jordan Poole, two future first-round picks
Golden State receives: Ben Simmons
One team that has finally tried to build around their star the
right way is Washington, which is set to give Bradley Beal a
competent roster for the 2021-22 season. However, Beal is entering
the final year of his deal.
Would Simmons work well alongside Beal? That’s a legitimate
concern, but a home run swing that could be necessary for Beal to
commit long-term in the nation’s capital.
Simmons and Beal flanked by shooters and prospects is a nice
foundation for Wizards GM Tommy Shepard to build around for the
next five-plus years.
Philadelphia receives: Davis Bertans, Kyle Kuzma, Deni
Avdija, two future first-round picks
Washington receives: Ben Simmons
Another team facing a fork in the road with their current roster
construction, Toronto has to decide on what happens with Pascal
Siakam. Will Toronto keep Siakam around with their young core, or
flip him for more long-term value?
If the Raptors want to make an aggressive win-now push while
also offloading Siakam, enter Simmons.
A potential lineup of Simmons with Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby,
Scottie Barnes and Precious Achiuwa sounds like something Toronto
would love to try.
Is Simmons open to moving across the border? If so, this could
be a win-win deal for both sides as they begin new eras for their
respective organizations. Siakam and Embiid is a terrifying
frontcourt for Philadelphia, and the duo would allow Tobias Harris
to slide back into the small forward position. Meanwhile, Toronto
brings Simmons aboard as their new face of the franchise with a
solid young nucleus surrounding him.
Philadelphia receives: Pascal Siakam
Toronto receives: Ben Simmons
No surprise, Indiana is another team that could be staring down
the barrel of important, franchise-altering decisions within a
year. The Pacers have a great, well-balanced roster that’s been
plagued by injuries over the last few seasons. T.J. Warren, who
broke out in a huge way during the Orlando Bubble, only played four
games during the 2019-20 campaign. Caris LeVert missed time due to
a cancerous tumor that was discovered after the James Harden trade.
Myles Turner and Malcolm Brogdon continue to miss time here and
there due to various injuries, not helping remove the
"injury-prone" labels placed on them in the past.
Rick Carlisle is making a triumphant return to Indiana after
more than a decade, and the Pacers feel a coaching switch and
better health might be their best bet to jump up another rung in
the Eastern Conference standings.
Indiana has sniffed around Simmons' availability already this
offseason, though. Having a tough time being able to pitch top free
agents on coming to Indianapolis, making an aggressive trade might
be the only way for it to happen.
Although one of Myles Turner or Domantas Sabonis would need to
be moved to a third team in this hypothetical scenario, Indiana
going star hunting could be the necessary tweak to change their
Philadelphia receives: Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb, two
future first-round picks
Indiana receives: Ben Simmons
After drafting Evan Mobley No. 3 overall in the 2021 NBA Draft,
Cleveland has a bright, young core. Darius Garland, Mobley, Jarrett
Allen, Isaac Okoro and Collin Sexton will be fun to watch, but do
all of the pieces actually fit together? The Cavaliers have
reportedly shopped Sexton this offseason with a big-money extension
potentially waiting for him in 2022. Cleveland prefers Darius
Garland, who has continued to develop in his first two seasons.
Being able to play off the ball as well, Garland has already shown
the ability to function alongside another primary ball handler.
Kevin Love is the odd man out of Cleveland right now, but a
buyout doesn’t seem to be on the horizon; he has two years
remaining on his extension.
Could Philadelphia and Cleveland build a win-win package around
Simmons for Love and Sexton? It’s a long-shot, but one that might
have already been explored. Longtime NBA insider Marc Stein
mentioned earlier this offseason that Cleveland is another team who
has previously expressed interest in acquiring Simmons.
A core in Cleveland consisting of Simmons, Garland, Mobley,
Allen and Okoro is something that’s at least intriguing on surface
Philadelphia receives: Kevin Love, Collin Sexton, two
future first-round picks
Cleveland receives: Ben Simmons