Even though the Warriors lost Kevin Durant in the offseason, they were able to receive D’Angelo Russell in return from Brooklyn. The Warriors still looked solid entering the season and were expected to compete for a title with the likes of Curry, Thompson, and Green joining Russell in the starting lineup
Unfortunately, this didn’t happen since all the main players went down with injury leaving Russell to carry the load alone. Not to mention, Russell hasn’t had an All-Star season similar to last year and seems to be on his way out of Golden State as he does not fit the long term plan of the franchise.
Meanwhile, the Sixers are one of the best teams in the entire league and Simmons is the primary ballhandler for them on the floor. Even though they are a very good team with championship aspirations, the Sixers seem to be lacking shooting and scoring on the perimeter.
Here is why a D’Angelo Russell for Ben Simmons trade works out for both teams at this point in the season.
1. Warriors Have Enough Shooters
If there is one thing we think about when it comes to the Warriors, it is marksmanship from the perimeter. With Curry and Klay, there is certainly enough shooting firepower for the team to use as the catalyst for an NBA title. It is in the best interest of the Warriors to build the team around those two great players in a modern NBA that we see today.
Therefore, they could use a player like Simmons who will assist, defend, and use backdoor passes to fuel the off-ball movement by Curry and Klay. Simmons is the type of player who will not require a ton of shots and will find Curry and Klay all game long, making them the one and two options on offense respectively.
Not to mention, Draymond Green and Ben Simmons are very similar players, and both can be a perfect fit for the Warriors. They can employ a small-ball lineup to feature Green at the center, in a very optimized version of their “Death Lineup” with Ben Simmons replacing an aging Andre Iguodala. This would be exciting to watch, and an absolute nightmare for other teams.
2. Sixers Need a Shooter
Joel Embiid is the most dominant center in the NBA, but unfortunately, the Sixers have yet to surround him with knockdown shooters since the key loss of J.J. Redick in the offseason. Ben Simmons can’t shoot well from the three-point line, and the rest of the squad is filled with players who are streaky shooters.
D’Angelo Russell is the perfect player for the Sixers system since he can use all the space to drain open shots all game long or feed Embiid after the pick and roll.
While Simmons is a tremendous playmaker, Russell can fill the void by playing off of Embiid only with the advantage of being able to be a marksman from deep.
3. Ben Simmons’ Defense
The Warriors are looking to revamp their squad following key losses in KD and Iguodala, who were excellent defensive players As such, the Warriors need a good stopper and Simmons is more than capable of being the primary defensive player to guard the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, LeBron James, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Simmons is long, athletic, and quick enough to guard any player in the league and he will only improve defensively as he continues to work on his game. Beyond Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, the Warriors are lacking in defensive resistance and Simmons could immediately address this issue.
4. D’Angelo Russell’ Offense
As one of the most talented offensive players in the league, Russell could immediately help a team with championship aspirations like Philadelphia. His ability to shoot from deep, attack the basket, and finish at the basket makes him one of the most versatile scoring guards we have seen in a while.
He can be especially useful for a team with stout defenders, who need a guard who can take over the offense both at the start of the game and down the stretch. Philadelphia already has good defenders in Embiid, Horford, and Richardson; so Russell’s offense can smoothly transform how the Sixers play to create a dominant starting lineup in the East.
A lineup with Russell, Richardson, Harris, Horford, and Embiid might place them as the best in the East simply because Russell isn’t a liability from the perimeter, and can be a 20-PPG scorer in his sleep.
5. NBA Championship
Ultimately, Ben Simmons will be closer to winning a championship with the Warriors than with the Sixers. He is young and will love the up and downplaying style employed by the Warriors, with Curry and Klay spotting up for open threes all game long thanks to the passing and playmaking by Simmons. In a league predicated on three-point shooting, the Warriors with Simmons pushing the break would make them the very best at it.
On the other side, the Sixers might have a greater chance to win if Embiid is the alpha dog for the team. As good as Simmons is as a pure talent, Embiid is still the best player on the team and it might be best for the team to bring in players that suit his playing style in order to create a team that will adjust to him. A team always does best when the supporting cast is built around their best player, and this happens to be Joel Embiid – not Ben Simmons.