We are about to enter a summer in which nearly every big name in the NBA is either looking for a new locale in free agency or has trade potential.
Young Sixers star Ben Simmons is one of those players as Philly GM Elton Brand must decide soon whether or not the poor-shooting Aussie is the right runningmate for Joel Embiid as we get set to enter the 2020s.
It’s also not yet understood if Simmons wants to stay longterm in Philadelphia. It’s clearly Embiid’s team, and there have been hints dropped along the way that Simmons craves to run his own show.
Potential landing spots for Simmons include the Lakers, Clippers, Trail Blazers, Bulls and even the rival Celtics.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, Bill Simmons, Ryen Russillo and Jonathan Tjarks discussed the potential for Simmons to be traded on two separate podcasts last week.
Take a look.
O’Connor: Ben Simmons is essentially your Draymond. You’ve got a guy who can switch to every position on defense. Screen, finish with athleticism, and pass off the pick and roll. However, Ben Simmons had that quote to Zach Lowe saying that’s not the role he wants to play. He still wants to be a guy on the ball. I would be open to trading him if I’m the Sixers but not for CJ [McCollum]. I’m not sure for what, to be honest with you. It’s hard to find a trade that makes a lot of sense.
Simmons: Do you think there’s Clippers potential for him if they strike out on everybody? I think the Clippers have to come out of this summer with a name. I would pretty much bet everything that it’s Kawhi Leonard. But the longer the Raptors go, the tougher it makes it for him to leave. I would love to see Simmons on a different team.
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O’Connor: The Embiid-Simmons core works, clearly.
Simmons: Jayson Tatum for Simmons?
Jonathan Tjarks: Tatum would be a better fit with Embiid for sure. And then Simmons with Boston if Kyrie leaves.
Simmons: Let Kyrie go. Then we go Simmons, Hayward, Jaylen Brown, whoever the picks are, Horford and then put the team in Simmons’ hands.
Tjarks: I would do it. I would do it for both.
O’Connor: I’ll take the scorer, in Tatum, longterm.
Simmons: I’m convinced that scoring forwards, they need to show early that they can get to the line to really get to the highest possible level. And Tatum just hasn’t. It was like 3.1 a game last year. The comps were interesting. The best possible comp was Glen Rice. He was incredible for a couple years there.
O’Connor: Paul George is a popular comparison for Tatum. And Paul George didn’t get to the line a lot when he was young, either.
Here are the excerpts from the Russillo pod.
Simmons: I would not do anything if I’m Portland but I do wonder if Philly called and was like, ‘can we talk about CJ and Ben Simmons?
Russillo: But you wouldn’t do that if you were Portland would you? That’d be perfect for Philly.
Simmons: CJ’s making like $25 million and Ben’s making like $7 million.
Russillo: Yeah but Portland’s so high because of the Evan Turner deal, he’s $18.6 million. Jusuf Nurkic is $12. Myers Leonard is $11.3. They’re not getting off of this.
Simmons: But they’re paying a major tax though, and they’re trying to sell the team. The Simmons trade makes less sense for the Blazers but it’s an incredible trade for Philly.