Ben Simmons is likely going to settle back into an uneasy — and likely unsteady — union with the Philadelphia 76ers, but that hasn’t stopped some from throwing more trade scenarios out there. Simmons has reported back to the Sixers, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and he appears set to return after a months-long holdout, but technically, there’s still time for a trade.
In his October 11 column for Bleacher Report, Greg Swartz put together four hypothetical “last minute” blockbuster trade proposals, and in what might be the most outlandish of the four, Swartz has the Los Angeles Clippers selling the farm in exchange for Simmons.
BR Trade Proposal Sends Draft Capital, Young Players, to Philly
The 25-year-old Simmons is an excellent building block for an NBA franchise. The talented point guard has averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.7 steals in 33.9 minutes over his first five seasons in the NBA, and his trade demand in Philadelphia this summer has naturally led to rumors galore.
Here’s the trade for Simmons Swartz thinks the Clips should make:
Los Angeles Clippers Receive: PG Ben Simmons
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: G/F Terance Mann, PG Eric Bledsoe, SF Luke Kennard, SG Keon Johnson, 2028 first-round pick, second-round picks in 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026
Woah. That’s a lot for the Clippers to give up, particularly where Mann is concerned. In a recent survey of the GMs of each NBA team, Mann was voted as a likely top breakout candidate this season. He has a ton of potential that has yet to be tapped. The same could be true where Johnson is concerned. It’s also highly unlikely the Clips would trade for Bledsoe this summer only to ship him off right away.
Would Simmons Be Worth It?
There’s probably no way the Clippers would entertain this trade, even without Kawhi Leonard in the lineup, but Swartz seems to think both the Clips and Sixers would benefit from it.
A backcourt of Simmons and Reggie Jackson alongside George, Marcus Morris Sr. and Serge Ibaka would still be a major threat in the West even without Leonard, especially with Ivica Zubac, Nic Batum, Justise Winslow and rookie Jason Preston (when he recovers from foot surgery) off the bench. Bledsoe would take over starting point guard duties in Philadelphia and should be re-energized on a title contender after a down year with the New Orleans Pelicans. Mann, 24, made 41.8 percent of his threes last season and dropped 39 points to help eliminate the Utah Jazz. Kennard (44.6 percent from three) ranked eighth in the NBA last season in outside accuracy.
Swartz also doesn’t seem to think the Clippers shipping off oodles of talented young players and draft picks will hurt them much, which is debatable at best. It seems clear this trade would primarily benefit Philadelphia.
“Picking up Johnson, the 21st overall pick in the 2021 draft, and six additional draft picks would give the Sixers some good trade ammunition should they want to make another deal in the future,” Swartz wrote. “Since Philly doesn’t have any open roster spots, it would have to include three end-of-the-bench guys (Charles Bassey, Isaiah Joe, Paul Reed, Jaden Springer) or waive a few players for the deal to go through.”
Mann is one of the most intriguing young players in the league right now, which is why the Clips just signed him to a two-year, $22 million extension. That happened after Swartz’s trade proposal, however.
With Leonard out, L.A. will now get a real opportunity to gauge Mann’s potential. Thus, trading the farm for Simmons now would be almost negligent, despite how many headlines it would grab.