While reminiscing about his rookie year in the NBA, Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown mentioned former Philadelphia Sixers‘ no. 1 pick Ben Simmons when talking about trying to prove himself when he first entered the NBA.
In an interview with Logan Murdock of The Ringer, Brown talked about his mindset when he, Simmons, and Brandon Ingram all entered the NBA in 2016.
“I wanted to win; I wanted to also prove that I was the third pick of the draft,” Brown told Murdock. “At the time, when you’re young, you see all your counterparts out there doing all types of stuff. Ben Simmons in Philly, Brandon Ingram in L.A., they are in the same draft, and so you want to keep showing people that you are not a bust. You are of equal talent. So during that time, that’s all it was for me, just trying to make sure people knew that Jaylen could play.”
Simmons actually sat out the season following the year he was drafted due to a foot injury, while Ingram and Brown played out their rookie seasons. Simmons went on to win the Rookie of the Year award the following season in 2018.
Proposed Trade Sends Ben Simmons to Bulls
Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report proposed a trade that would allow Simmons to have a fresh start. In this trade, the following would happen between Simmons’ current team, the Brooklyn Nets, and the Chicago Bulls.
Bulls Receive: Simmons, Cam Thomas, 2023 first-round pick, 2025 first-round pick (from the Phoenix Suns), 2027 first-round pick (Houston Rockets have the right to swap), 2027 first-round pick (from the Sixers)
Nets Receive: Zach LaVine
Hughes went on to explain that the Bulls would accept this deal not because of Simmons’ value as a basketball player, but because acquiring him, along with multiple first-round picks, helps kickstart a rebuild.
“No, Ben Simmons doesn’t figure to make Chicago a better team next year. He’s simply matching salary in a swap designed to get the Bulls the assets they’ll need to undertake a deliberate rebuild.
“Because his performance and availability have cratered since leaving the Philadelphia 76ers, Simmons may very well have the league’s worst contract. Combined with LaVine’s value as a high-end scorer, which the Nets need on a roster full of three-and-D wings, that’s what earns Chicago four first-rounders and Cam Thomas in the exchange.”
The question at hand would be if the Bulls want to start a rebuild, and if they do, would they really want Simmons?
Ben Simmons Parts Ways With Klutch Sports
On March 17, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported that Simmons had parted ways with Klutch Sports, who had been with him since he came into the NBA in 2016.
“Brooklyn Nets forward Ben Simmons and Klutch Sports have mutually decided to part ways, sources told ESPN. Simmons had been represented by Klutch since he came into the NBA as the No. 1 pick in 2016. The agency negotiated his five-year $177 million extension in 2019,” Shelburne tweeted.
Reportedly, Simmons “just needed a fresh start,” Shelburne added.
Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reported that Simmons was expected to be represented by Bernie Lee, who is known for helping players having a hard time.
“Ben Simmons is expected to hire veteran agent Bernie Lee, who has a long history of guiding clients through difficult spots, sources said. Lee also reps Jimmy Butler, Justin Holiday, and Kris Dunn, among other players,” Krawczynski tweeted.