There have been multiple trade rumors for Philadelphia 76ers’ star forward Ben Simmons ever since their new President of Basketball Operations, and former Houston Rockets GM, Daryl Morey was hired. Today, those speculations grow even more as, per Heavy.com’s own Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson, he “privately is not happy in his role in Philadelphia.”
Robinson did not stop there. In a new interview with Basketball Society’s Martin Soaries, Robinson stated more discussing how Philadelphia’s fans are involved as well as what other NBA team is trying to be involved in a potential Simmons mega-trade.
“I have heard that Ben, privately, is not happy in his role in Philadelphia and privately, wants out. And that he doesn’t want to deal with the ridicule of Philly fans, in the sense of he doesn’t want to upset them and, you know how Philly fans are. They love their team, so I get it. And it’s been said to me okay fine, the Timberwolves don’t get Devin Booker Ben Simmons could be a consultation prize in that regard.”
What makes this revelation more potent is how much this involves last season’s NBA champions, the Toronto Raptors. They have a desire to move up in the draft to select former Illawarra Hawks guard LaMelo Ball. They also have other key pieces needed to help make this deal work with there being so many moving parts.
“The Raptors are trying to make a move in which they could potentially move Ben Simmons to the Golden State Warriors which would then give the Sixers the #2 pick, which they would flip or they would draft LaMelo Ball and ship him to Toronto. In turn, the Sixers would get Kyle Lowry and probably some other fillers. Basically, that could be scenario #1. Or scenario #2 as Rashad has stated, say the Warriors don’t want to give up that pick. That would be Minnesota moving in the way the Golden State Warriors would have moved.”
This isn’t the first time this type of trade has been mentioned. Previously, Robinson had NBA analyst Rashad Phillips on an episode of the “Scoop B Radio” Podcast in May where Phillips spoke at length about this being a part of the Raptors’ plans for their future.
“I really believe that the Toronto Raptors are trying to move up in the Draft to get LaMelo Ball.”
“I still think there’s some trades that’s going to happen and teams are going to try to move up for LaMelo Ball. I believe the Toronto Raptors will try to move up and get him. And if the Raptors can somehow get that number one pick out of Golden State in a three-team trade with Philadelphia, Toronto and Golden State; if they can mix some players and money around, I believe the Raptors will take LaMelo Ball at number one. I just believe that he has the flare of the game. He understands the platform. He understands the entertainment of the game. He understands the pulse of the game and his ability to score, knock down shots. His vision, his size, just a kid who was bred to play at this level. So I’m extremely excited to see what he’s going to bring to the table for an NBA franchise and its fans.”
How Simmons Fits With Golden State
Given his ability to facilitate the basketball, and potential raised play while being surrounded by two of the best shooters in NBA history, it’s safe to say that Simmons would fit perfectly with the current Golden State Warriors roster. Already being one of the league’s top transition players, and simultaneously being named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team this past season, this would be an ultimate reload of sorts for the Warriors.
They would be able to bring in a player that can contribute to the team immediately, have him under contract for the future moving forward, and prop open their championship window for quite some time. Tom Haberstroh, NBC Sports NBA Insider, recently spoke about what Simmons’ arrival would mean to the Warriors.
“I think he is the perfect fit next to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and people might say ‘Hey, he kind of fills the same role as Draymond Green, why would you go for a guy that kind of duplicates what he does?’ Well, Ben Simmons is much younger than Draymond Green. I think if you’re going to try to acquire someone with the No. 2 pick, and package it with next year’s pick they received from the Minnesota Timberwolves, I think you have to shoot for a player that is going to be someone that kind of transitions to that next phase of this Warriors team, after Stephen Curry, after Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.”
“I think in that scenario,” Haberstroh added, “if Ben Simmons came to the Warriors, I do think that Steve Kerr and the organization could convince him to start shooting 3 pointers, and expand that game that he was not willing to do under Brett Brown.”
What about Philadelphia and Minnesota?
While the headlines of this potential deal include Simmons and Ball, we can’t overlook the impact this trade would have on both the Philadelphia 76ers and/or the Minnesota Timberwolves, if they were to be involved instead of the Warriors.
In both scenarios, Philadelphia is able to add an All-Star guard in Lowry would bring a level of on-court leadership and tenacity that would rival that of their new coach Doc Rivers. During their championship season, it was easy to note how important current Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard was to their team showing up in the clutch moments.
What many dismiss is team accountability, leadership, tenacity, and willingness to leave it all on the floor that Lowry exudes every time he is on the court. This is something the Philadelphia fans would appreciate being just as passionate about their teams and their players. Plus, Lowry was a Villanova Wildcat in college. It would be a great “welcome home” type of story. Surrounding star center Joel Embiid with a player like Lowry and other auxiliary pieces to help open the floor may bypass some of the issues they faced in the playoffs with defenses keying in on Embiid and daring other players to beat them.
For Minnesota, this could be a once in a generation haul if they are able to land Simmons. While yes, losing the #1 pick in the draft may hurt, Simmons, as stated previously, is the type of player that can elevate others around him due to his skillset and the pressure he puts on defenses. Thus creating space for shooters and opportunities for players who cannot on their own. It’s not as if forward/center Karl Anthony-Towns nor guard D’Angelo Russell would need assistance in scoring the basketball but with both players being such quality shooters, it would create a young, potent trio that could have championship aspirations of their own.
A lot of the NBA has already changed in the past week and I’m certain that even more so will in the coming days. If either of these trade scenarios happens to take shape, it may tilt the balance of power in the NBA to either team in the immediate future or for years to come.