Would the Philadelphia 76ers look to trade their 24-year-old, three-time NBA All-Star and All-Defensive team player?
That resume is impressive, but when you realize it applies to the troubled, but talented Ben Simmons, potential suitors may have some trepidation. The 76ers are on the brink of being eliminated in what would be a huge upset at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks.
If Atlanta knocks off the 76ers, there is a chance Philly could look to make some major changes to their roster, and that’s not likely to include all-world center Joel Embiid. Simmons, who is talented but struggles shooting and with assertiveness, would appear to be the player the 76ers might look to move.
The Bulls figure to be shopping for a point guard this offseason, and it is tough to ignore the potential availability of a 6’10” perennial All-Star lead guard who regularly threatens a triple-double, even considering the shortcomings to his game.
Bulls historian and Big Red Bus podcast host See Red Fred floated the idea of a blockbuster trade that would have the Chicago Bulls sending Coby White, Patrick Williams and a future No. 1 pick for Simmons. SRF put it in the form of a poll, and let’s just say, Bulls fans weren’t receptive to the trade concept:
More than 75% of the fans who voted chose “No, I like PWill.” It’s an interesting question.
‘Lonzo Ball on Steroids’
SRF also gave Simmons an interesting label: “Lonzo Ball on steroids.”
I’m not so sure about that categorization. That might have been more accurate before we saw Ball make a huge jump in both his three-point shooting (.329 in 2018-19 to .375 and .378 in 19-20 and 20-21, respectively) and free-throw shooting (.566 in 2019-20 to .781 in 20-21).
Simmons is STILL horrendous in both areas of his game (.300 three-point shooting on 0.2 attempts per game and .613 from the foul line). While Simmons is an athletic freak and an anomaly at point guard at 6’10”, he can be a liability on offense.
He is arguably the best defensive point guard in the league, and a superb rebounder and passer, but would he even be a good fit alongside Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic?
It Might Still Be Worth it for The Bulls
I know Simmons can be a maddening player because of his offensive hangups, but he is a next-level athlete with insane size, and he does something better than almost every player in the league that the Bulls lack, and that’s defend.
When you consider how big and athletic the backcourt could be with Simmons and LaVine, and you add in Vucevic in the middle, the Bulls could have an intriguing big three.
Chicago would need an athletic, defensive-minded power forward like Daniel Theis along with a three-and-D small forward to replace Williams, but the makings of a potentially devastating starting five would be in place.
It would be a controversial move, but it is one I’d make in a heartbeat if I were Chicago, even if it meant parting ways with the promising Williams and another first-round selection.
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