Is Ben Simmons going to start the season a member of the Philadelphia 76ers?
Sixers GM Daryl Morey has made it sound like that is an acceptable option and sources that have spoken to NBC Sports think it is possible, but Simmons isn’t speaking to the 76ers organization or players such as Joel Embiid — he wants to be traded. Now. Before the season starts.
And ideally to the Warriors. However, that would mean pairing two non-shooters in Simmons and Draymond Green. Would that work? The Warriors are internally divided on the issue, according to Zach Lowe and Stephen A. Smith of ESPN, who discussed it on the Lowe Post podcast (hat tip NBC Sports Bay Area).
“I think the Warriors internally are divided on the potential fit of Simmons with Draymond Green,” Lowe said Tuesday on the “Lowe Post” podcast. “Do you agree?”
“I’ve been told they are,” ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith responded. “They are divided.”
“And I get why, right,” Lowe continued. “Draymond doesn’t really shoot anymore. Ben doesn’t shoot — I mean, Ben doesn’t even dunk in Game 7 when he’s got an open dunk — but I wonder if we’re all over-fretting a little bit, because if you put those two with Steph [Curry], Klay [Thompson] and just, like, pick a shooter, so you’re playing Draymond at the five and Simmons at the (four), the level of playmaking and shooting is … I don’t think the Warriors will do it, I don’t quite know how I feel about it, but I’m a little more positive about it than most people I’ve talked to I think.”
There’s a lot to break down here:
• Morey is being patient because he knows he only gets one swing at this trade and he needs win-now talent back to pair with Joel Embiid. The buzz now is he is waiting to see if and when Damian Lillard pushes his way out of Portland, but that isn’t expected to happen before the start of the season (good luck finding anyone around the league who thinks Lillard is on the Blazers a year from now). Can Morey wait, and even if he does, is Portland interested in Simmons?
• What would a Simmons to the Warriors trade look like? Andrew Wiggins for salary, plus young players like James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and a veteran like Otto Porter. Is that enough for win-now Philly?
• Personally, I’m skeptical of a Green and Simmons pairing. It’s great on defense, and both are excellent passers who play a smart game (and Simmons would help in transition), but get into the playoffs and hiding two non-shooters on offense is an issue, even if you have Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. But smarter minds than I think it might work.
• The best Sixers trade partner right now might be Toronto. Matt Moore of the Action Network reported previously that Morey and the Sixers asked for Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and the No. 4 pick in a trade early in the process. Lowry is now out, having agreed to a sign-and-trade to go to Miami. Would a trade centered around Pascal Siakam, Van Vleet, and Anunoby be enough for Philly? To my eyes, it’s better than the Warriors offer, but is it enough? Or will Morey wait it out?
• Ultimately, is Morey willing to bring Simmons back to training camp? He tries to make it sound like he will, but would he really do it?
There is still some intrigue left in this offseason.