The early portion of the NBA offseason was filled with Ben Simmons trade rumors. Following a premature exit in the playoffs and some struggles on the part of the three-time All-Star, it became clear that the Philadelphia 76ers were looking to move him.
The backdrop here was Philadelphia’s unreasonable asking price in a Simmons trade. That included Daryl Morey and Co. demanding James Wiseman, Andrew Wiggins, both 2021 first-round picks and two future first-round picks from the Golden State Warriors.
Once Golden State’s brass laughed this off, it appeared trade talks were dead between the two sides.
Not so fast. According to Brandon Robinson of Bally Sports, the Warriors and 76ers are re-engaged in Ben Simmons trade talks with the latter being “extremely motivated” to get a deal done.
Obviously, Philadelphia would have to lower its asking price for the defensive-minded point guard. It’s also not yet known whether Golden State views him as a fit with another limited offensive player in Draymond Green. Regardless, there’s something potentially brewing behind the scenes.
How a Ben Simmons trade to the Golden State Warriors might look
Golden State added forward Jonathan Kuminga with the seventh pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. It also picked up sharpshooting guard Moses Moody with the 14th selection. One of these youngsters would likely head to Philadelphia in a trade for Simmons.
It was previously noted that general manager Bob Myers and the Warriors would not part with James Wiseman for any player not named Bradley Beal. Now that the Wizards’ star is off the trade market, it remains to be seen whether that’s still the case. But let’s assume Wiseman is still untouchable.
A package surrounding Andrew Wiggins, one of the Warriors’ two first-round picks last week, Jordan Poole and multiple future first-round picks could potentially get this done.
From Philadelphia’s perspective, Wiggins would add more of a play-making and scoring ability than Simmons. The former No. 1 pick averaged 18.6 points on 38% shooting from distance a season ago. He also morphed into an elite-level wing defender, which is something that has to be taken into account here.
Tobias Harris is also said to be on the block, but the high-priced forward has not drawn a ton of interest. If Philadelphia were to acquire these young assets and draft picks for Ben Simmons, it might be able to then entice another team by flipping them and Harris for another true star behind Joel Embiid.
While Simmons’ fit in Golden State might be questionable, adding him without giving up Wiseman would make the Warriors a legit NBA title contender. Rather than playing point guard in Steve Kerr’s system, Simmons would man the three spot while being able to play the four with Green at center in small-ball lineups.
Teams interested in Simmons this summer have thought more about playing him in the frontcourt than the traditional point guard spot given his lackluster shooting ability. From that perspective, he’d make sense for the Warriors.
In addition to having reigning NBA MVP finalist Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson back together next season, the duo of Ben Simmons and Green on defense would be absolutely lethal.
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Author: Vincent Frank