With Ben Simmons looking to get out of Philly, we examine which team would be the best fit for him, moving forward.
Ever since his epic collapse in the second round of the playoffs last season, Ben Simmons has been the most slandered athlete in the world. At the end of Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers fans took to the streets demanding that Simmons be exiled from the city forever. His abysmal scoring ultimately led to the Sixers being upset by a team they had no business losing to. Sixers fans were well aware of this and their disdain for the Australian hooper was on full display. In many ways, the Simmons slander from that night was downright disrespectful, although it wasn't surprising coming from a fanbase who has suffered for decades.
As all of this was going on, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers was asked whether or not Simmons is the type of point guard who can lead a team to a championship. Rivers' answer was telling as he simply said that he wasn't sure. Reports now suggest that Simmons was offended by these comments, and rightfully so. His own head coach was basically telling the world that he had no confidence in him. These words would percolate with Simmons all throughout the summer, leading us to the present day, where Simmons is now demanding a trade out of Philly. He has told the team that he will not report to training camp and that he will never don the Sixers jersey, ever again.
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This puts the Sixers in a situation that could seriously damage their future. Simmons still has four years left on his contract, and now that other teams know he wants out, his trade value has plummeted. The Sixers have very little leverage in trade negotiations, and they might just have to settle for less than what they would have hoped for. General Manager Daryl Morey now has to make do with what he has, and if you're the Sixers organization, you can't help but be worried about the future of the franchise.
As for Simmons, it's clear that he needs some sort of reset. He has shown that social media can rattle him, and when you're a player who loses confidence fast, it's better to avoid fanbases that already kind of hate you. With the sheer vitriol circulating within the Sixers fanbase right now, any sane basketball fan would agree that right now, Simmons should be playing for another team. There are plenty of franchises that he would be a great fit with, although there are only so many teams out there who would actually want to give up big pieces to trade for him. This ultimately begs the question: which team would be the best fit for Simmons right now?
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Well, over the past week, reports have circulated claiming that the Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers are the two teams who are the most interested in acquiring the point guard. There were also some rumors that a one-for-one trade involving Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets could be in the works, although that was ultimately shot down. Having said that, the Warriors and Blazers remain in the mix, and it has fans fantasizing about how Simmons would play on either of these two rosters.
Starting with the Golden State Warriors, Simmons would immediately give this team one of the most stacked rosters in the league. Playing alongside Steph Curry and Klay Thompson would allow Simmons to mostly feast in the paint while allowing Steph and Klay to deal with jump shots. The big issue here, however, is Draymond Green. Both are amazing defensive players, however, the Warriors would have to pick one over the other. Having both Green and Simmons on the court at the same time would create quite a few spacing issues and seeing as though Green is the veteran of the two, he probably wouldn't be happy having to share. Not to mention, Steph and Klay already have chemistry with Draymond, and Simmons could ultimately mess that up.
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The best and most obvious fit for Simmons, however, is the Portland Trail Blazers. Now, sure, the Sixers would love to trade Simmons for Damian Lillard, although that's not going to happen. Lillard is happy right where he is, and the Blazers would be insane to make that kind of trade. Instead, the Blazers would be looking to give up CJ McCollum and a few young pieces, as well as some draft picks. This is the deal that makes the most sense for both sides. McCollum will act as a complementary scorer to Joel Embiid, and in the end, he will probably make the Sixers a more well-rounded team. Simmons on the other hand would give Lillard a big man to work side by side with. The Blazers have been atrocious on defense over the years although Simmons would immediately change that. Simmons is arguably one of the best defensive players in the league, and he would be the perfect star to pair with a guy like Lillard, who is already known for his long-range abilities. Simmons would not make the Blazers title contenders, although they would certainly be a better team than they are now.
If you were to ask Simmons where he wants to go, he would probably tell you the name of a title contender. Unfortunately, that's probably not going to happen, as most title contenders are more than happy with their roster. There are still a lot of questions surrounding Simmons, and it would probably be best for him to simply get the reset he desperately needs, regardless of which franchise gets him.