Shams Charania, of The Athletic, took to Twitter on Tuesday, July 13 with the news that Simmons is now officially on the trading block.
Charania reported that the 76ers have already “engaged with teams” to test the market for the three-time NBA All Star, though he did not indicate if the Warriors were one of those franchises.
NBA Executives Value Simmons More Than the General Public
Simmons is an all-league defender who can guard multiple positions, a solid rebounder, and a point guard in a forward’s body who has been described as a one-man fast break. Still, his perceived value has plummeted since Philadelphia’s most recent playoff run, during which Simmons all but disappeared offensively in multiple fourth quarters against the Atlanta Hawks, who ultimately eliminated the 76ers in the second round.
The primary criticisms of Simmons are that he doesn’t shoot the ball well, particularly from the 3-point and free-throw lines. More than that, however, it is that he appears to shrink from even attempting to play meaningful offense in important games. In other words, the perception is that Simmons is scared of the big moments.
However, on an episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast released on Sunday, July 11, the long-time NBA insider said league sources are higher on the Philadelphia forward than many fans might believe.
Bill Simmons said several teams consider Ben Simmons to be a top-15 player in the NBA who is simply in need of a change of scenery. There are several coaching staffs around the league who also believe that they can help the All-Star through his shooting woes to a version of himself who could dominate the NBA for the next decade.
Warriors Roster Could Prove Perfect Fit For Simmons
The Warriors could prove the perfect fit for Simmons, namely because the one thing he doesn’t do well is the one thing Golden State’s star-studded roster has in spades — scoring.
Playing alongside the current NBA scoring champion in Steph Curry and one of the best 3-point shooters in the league in Klay Thompson would take nearly all the pressure off Simmons to be an elite scorer of the basketball. He also would get more open looks to help his confidence and would be less of a liability in late-game situations, when defenses often lag off of him and he gets relegated to the offensively impotent “dunker position” on the floor.
Simmons could provide another ball-handler to take pressure off of Curry throughout the game, helping the point guard conserve energy without the Warriors losing anything in that regard on offense. And defensively, Simmons would render Golden State elite, playing alongside former Defensive Player of the Year in Draymond Green and Thompson, who spent five years before his bouts with injury as one of the best two-way players in the game.
Bringing Simmons to the Bay Area would not be cheap. Sixers’ President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey is known for spinning and winning trades, which he did wildly successfully as general manager of the Houston Rockets. Morey knows Simmons’ true value and, more importantly, the way opposing franchises actually view that value in spite of public perception.
A trade for Simmons would likely require both of the Warriors’ NBA Draft Lottery picks (No. 7 and No. 14), along with sophomore big man James Wiseman, who is still considered to have tremendous upside, and forward Andrew Wiggins to make the money work. Future draft assets would likely also be a part of any deal.