Instead, Philly basketball fans have been constantly bombarded – and taken part in – a seemingly never-ending flow of Ben Simmons trade rumors, demands and proposals. Bleacher Report NBA columnist Zach Buckley joined in on the action on Saturday.
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Buckley’s article titled “NBA Trade Ideas to Get 4 Lottery Teams Back to the Playoffs” is pretty self-explanatory. It is worth pointing out though, that the four teams Buckley decided to focus on for the piece were just barely on the outside looking in for the 2021 NBA playoffs.
The two Eastern Conference squads covered are the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls, who finished ninth and 11th in the conference respectively. With Indiana going 34-38 this season and making the Play-In Tournament, and Chicago having a potentially deadly duo in Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic next season, it’s not crazy to think that the Pacers and Bulls are just a piece away from postseason contention, especially in the typically-inferior conference.
For the West, Buckley writes about another play-in team from this spring – the already-loaded Golden State Warriors -, as well as the Sacramento Kings, who finished just two games behind the San Antonio Spurs for the final play-in spot.
The Kings are who Buckley sees as the perfect trade partner for the the Sixers and Ben Simmons.
Simmons Heads West, Sixers Receive Haul of Young Talent in Proposed Deal
Even though Simmons has been criticized perhaps more than any other player in the Association over the last week, people shouldn’t forget that he’s still a gifted passer, rebounder and incredible defender. Just because the most recent focus has been on his non-existent jumper, brutal free throw woes and vanishing act in the fourth quarter in the Hawks series, it would be foolish to think that Simmons isn’t worth a decent return.
If the Sixers do end up trading their unconventional point guard this summer, they’ll be selling low, but he certainly still has value. Here’s the trade proposal that Buckley lays out between the Sixers and Kings:
Kings receive: Ben Simmons
Sixers receive: Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley III and No. 9 pick
The prospect of giving up on Simmons, while taking in solid, young players like Hield and Bagley III could be enticing, yet also risky.
“Trapped in a record-tying 15-year playoff drought, the Kings could feel similar desperation to win sooner than later, yet they’re still flexible enough to tailor their roster around Simmons,” Buckley writes. “Plus, they have things the Sixers might legitimately want: Buddy Hield’s fiery three-point stroke, Marvin Bagley III’s offensive upside and a top-10 pick to either keep and develop or use to facilitate another trade.”
What Could the Sixers’ Rotation Look Like After This Trade?
This is a monumental jump for sure, but for fun, let’s see what next season’s rotation could look like if this were the only significant trade to be made. We’re taking into account the Sixers’ list of free agents and their upcoming draft picks, and leaving them out of the equation for this exercise.
PG: Tyrese Maxey, Shake Milton, Seth Curry/George Hill
SG: Buddy Hield/Seth Curry, George Hill, Matisse Thybulle, Shake Milton
SF: Matisse Thybulle, Tobias Harris
PF: Tobias Harris, Marvin Bagley III
C: Joel Embiid, Marvin Bagley III