On February 10, the Brooklyn Nets executed a trade that sent All-Star guard James Harden and Paul Millsap to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for sharpshooter Seth Curry, big man Andre Drummond, and former number one overall pick Ben Simmons. The Nets made the trade knowing that Simmons had not played since the Game 7 of the 2021 Eastern Conference Semifinals. At the time of the trade, Simmons’ lay-off from the NBA had been nearly nine months.
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Proposed Trade for Ben Simmons Lands Nets Myles Turner
If Simmons does join the Nets in a potential playoff run, it could serve as a trial period to see if Brooklyn wants to pair him with Irving and Durant long-term. Already dealing with a herniated disc in his back, If the Simmons experiment doesn’t look promising during the playoffs, exploring a trade for him may be an option the Nets want to explore. If it is, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report suggests that Brooklyn makes a trade with the Indiana Pacers where they move Simmons in exchange for center Myles Turner, shooting guard Buddy Hield, and a 2022 second-round pick (via Phoenix Suns.
“Simmons still has yet to play for the championship-or-bust Nets and could soon be thrown into the fire during the postseason while trying to make his way back from a herniated disc in his back. This just isn’t an ideal situation all around, and Brooklyn should be open to trading the three-time All-Star this offseason if the right package presents itself,” Swartz writes for Bleacher Report.
Swartz also notes that the Nets’ talented duo of Irving and Durant is enough to take a team to a championship.
“For Brooklyn, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are good enough to carry a team to a title, given that they have the right role players around them,” Swartz continued. “Turner would be a perfect fit as a rim-protecting, floor-spacing center. Having Hield along with Seth Curry and Joe Harris would give this roster plenty of knockdown shooters to play between Durant and Irving as well.”
Pacers Were Interested in Simmons Before Nets Trade
Simmons, when healthy is one of the most effective players in the league. He is one of the NBA’s top defenders and a versatile offensive player with the ability to score and distribute the ball at a high level. Simmons would be welcome by most teams with open arms for the right price. Swartz also notes that the Pacers had an interest in Simmons when the Sixers had him on the trading block earlier this season.
“The Pacers were interested in Simmons before he was eventually traded to the Nets and should be even more intrigued now that they have embraced a mini-rebuild,” Swartz writes. “Adding Simmons to a core of Tyrese Haliburton, Malcolm Brogdon, Chris Duarte, Isaiah Jackson, and Oshae Brissett would give Indiana three primary ball-handlers all 6’5″ to 6’10” in stature with plenty of other talents on the wing and in the frontcourt.”
While the Nets organization has shown the ability to remain patient in peculiar situations this season, the time is ticking for Simmons to prove he can be an asset for the Nets. With championship windows being as short as they are, the Nets may want to consider maximizing it in a potential trade for Simmons.
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