Since the departure of Kawhi Leonard in 2018, the San Antonio Spurs have been in a state of limbo, waiting to return to glory.
Apparently, the tide could start to change soon.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Spurs have become the most recent team connected to Ben Simmons, who is apparently keen on the idea of playing under head coach Gregg Popovich.
The Spurs also know that Popovich’s presence still resonates with many players more than anything else San Antonio has to offer as a destination. Example: I’ve heard that Ben Simmons would welcome the opportunity to play for Popovich if the Spurs found a way to acquire him.
For now, the Spurs remain a distant contender in the Simmons hunt, mostly thanks to Daryl Morey's high ambitions.
San Antonio’s efforts to crash the trade hunt for Simmons have been well-chronicled, but Philadelphia remains intent on holding out for Portland’s Damian Lillard or another proven All-Star in a Simmons swap.
Simmons, 25, has not played for the Sixers since their second-round elimination in the spring. After Ben's shockingly poor performance in that series, his trade demand went public weeks later and it has been nothing but chaos ever since.
Still, hope remains that the Spurs might be able to land the young star.
As an elite defender and premier playmaker, he's the type of guy that makes his teammates better. Interestingly enough, Popovich has already spoken quite highly of him:
"It would enhance his game, obviously. That can’t be argued with,” said Popovich, via NBC Sports. “But all of his physical skills, basketball skills, the way he understands the game, as unselfish as he is — he’s so elite already, who gives a damn if he can’t shoot?”
After so much turmoil and strife in Philadelphia, moving to a stable and prosperous franchise might be exactly what Simmons needs to get his career back on track.
At this point, nobody knows when we can expect him to play again, or what he'll look like when he comes back.
But as a young, two-way player with plenty of upside, it's only a matter of time before Ben Simmons reminds the world what he can do.