Twitter Ships 76ers All-Star to Celtics After Disappointing Playoff Exit

Twitter links Celtics to Ben Simmons Trade

Getty Ben Simmons #25 and Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers look on in the second half against the Washington Wizards.

Following yet another early playoff exit, 76ers coach Doc Rivers made it highly evident that he has his doubts on whether Ben Simmons can be the point guard of a championship team. Yet, maybe Brad Stevens has a bit more optimism towards the former No. 1 overall pick?

If the “Trade Ben Simmons” chants from Wells Fargo Center in the Sixers’ Game 7 loss vs. the Hawks told us anything, it’s that the three-time All-Star’s days in Philly may very well be numbered.

Attempting zero field goals through the final four games of the series, scoring in single-digits on four occasions and knocking down just 34.2% of his free throws — the lowest percentage in a single playoffs in NBA history (per StatMuse) — Simmons certainly has his limitations. With that said, he’s also one of the league’s most gifted passers and was just named to the All-Defensive First-Team for the second consecutive season.

As for the Boston Celtics, they have Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to shoulder the majority of scoring duties. What they don’t have is a clear-cut answer at point guard following the trade of Kemba Walker. Could Simmons be the man to fill the void? Twitter certainly believes so, as fans began connecting dots shortly after the Sixers were booted from the playoffs.

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Is Simmons the ‘Perfect’ Fit for Boston?

Even some of his naysayers seem to believe so.

With Brown and Tatum each ranking within the top-20 of NBA scorers, Simmons’ shooting limitations could be far less of a drawback for the Cs. Instead, a move to Beantown could potentially ease some of the pressure off the shoulders of the 24-year-old, allowing him to focus on what he excels at — facilitating.

Despite the array of bashings that Simmons has received since the final buzzer of Philly’s Game 7 loss, there’s been a near-universal belief that he’d slide quite nicely into the Celtics’ lineup.

Financial Drawbacks

While Simmons to Boston may make sense on paper, the financial aspects of such a deal going down are far less attractive. Chances are the Celtics didn’t move off of Kemba’s unappealing contract just to inherit an equally bad one. In fact, some may argue Simmons’ deal is even less appealing. The Melbourne native still has four years and $140 million remaining on his contract, a commitment that Mass Live’s Brian Robb dubbed “an albatross.” On top of that, Boston doesn’t have much trade capital to dangle in Philly’s direction. The team is not going to surrender one of the two Jays (Tatum or Brown) for Simmons. In reality, their best trade piece is likely the recently re-acquired Al Horford and chances are neither Big Al nor the Sixers would be eager for such a reunion. Horford spent 2019 looking wildly out of place playing alongside Joel Embiid en route to his worst statistical season since 2008.

As Rob noted, even if both sides were willing to rekindle their relationship, chances are Philly could likely field better trade offers for Simmons — even at his decreasing value.

Philadelphia could probably field better offers than that, even if Boston sweetened the deal with other young players. However, I doubt the Celtics would be eager to include much other young talent since the remaining four years and $140 million on Simmons’ deal suddenly looks like an albatross. Avoiding that deal altogether is probably Boston’s best bet since adding him would keep them from having cap room or the ability to add a key piece to their young core anytime soon.

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