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A Blockbuster 3-Team Trade Idea: Pelicans Could Create A Superteam With Ben Simmons

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We have seen a lot of blockbuster trades in the NBA, featuring multiple teams and star players. There's no doubt that those trades generally take a lot to get over the line, as it is difficult to make sure that every party goes away from the trade with what they want.

Below, we provide a three-team trade scenario that could have benefits for every team involved. This trade features Ben Simmons going to the New Orleans Pelicans, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to the 76ers, and a package of players and picks going to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

New Orleans Pelicans Receive: Ben Simmons

Philadelphia 76ers Receive: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Oklahoma City Thunder Receive: Devonte' Graham, Matisse Thybulle, Jaxson Hayes, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Tomas Satoransky, 2022 first-round pick (PHI), 2023 first-round pick (NOP), 2024 first-round pick (MIL via NOP), 2022 second-round pick (NOP), 2022 second-round pick (UTA via NOP)

The New Orleans Pelicans Create A Superteam 

If the New Orleans Pelicans were to get Ben Simmons, they would definitely become a superteam when fully healthy. They'd have two other All-Stars in Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, as well as an extremely underrated center in Jonas Valanciunas. Giving up some young prospects and a few picks for that to happen seems like a solid proposition. The Pelicans have recently been linked with Ben Simmons, and the trade reportedly didn't involve Brandon Ingram or Zion Williamson.

While there would certainly be some concerns about the fit between Zion Williamson and Ben Simmons, there are some reasons that the fit may not be as bad as it seems. It is quite possible that they could get their minutes staggered, and even when playing them together, the Pelicans would have good shooters like Herb Jones and Brandon Ingram to space the floor. Jonas Valanciunas is also able to shoot well from deep (46.5% from beyond the arc in 2021-22).

Ben Simmons would help the New Orleans Pelicans improve on the defensive end, and his playmaking and ball-handling ability would reduce the offensive load on Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. It is quite possible that he would improve even further in a place where he would be a supplementary option, and that could happen on the Pelicans, where he wouldn't have to score as much. Being around 3 other scorers could help Ben Simmons unlock his game.

The Philadelphia 76ers Get Their No. 2 To Pair With Joel Embiid

Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid have never been a perfect fit on the court, though they have obviously achieved some success even with that factor. There is no question that the 76ers will likely move on from Simmons though, as the point guard has not played a game for the team this season.

A player that the 76ers have been connected to in regards to a Ben Simmons trade is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. This three-team trade could potentially help them acquire the electric scoring guard. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has averaged 21.7 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 4.9 APG this season. 

Overall, the Philadelphia 76ers would have to give up Ben Simmons, Matisse Thybulle, and a future first-round pick to get Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. That is not a bad amount to give up, especially considering they'd be able to keep Seth Curry and Tyrese Maxey in this scenario.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would immediately give the Philadelphia 76ers a capable perimeter shot creator. The 76ers would have a nasty one-two punch with their two stars, and still, have a solid squad around them. This trade would fulfill their aspirations of being a contender, and having two scorers like Tyrese Maxey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander around Joel Embiid would mean that they'd be a very dangerous team in the playoffs.

The Oklahoma City Thunder Get A Huge Package For The Future

Even with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's individual talent, the Oklahoma City Thunder have still been a tanking team, currently last in the Western Conference with an 8-19 record. Perhaps it could be best to trade Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for future assets, and try and be more competitive in the future.

This trade would feature 5 players and 5 picks going the Thunder's way. Most notably, they'd get elite defender Matisse Thybulle from the Philadelphia 76ers. He is well-known for guarding the best opposing player and forcing them out of their comfort zone. 

The two young prospects that the Pelicans would send for the Thunder out are Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Jaxson Hayes. Hayes is an athletic center that could potentially do well with a playmaker like Josh Giddey. Nickeil Alexander-Walker is certainly a project currently, but his playstyle suggests that he could become a good shot creator in the future.

The two other players that the Thunder would get in this trade are Devonte' Graham and Tomas Satoransky. Satoransky would mostly be in this deal for salary matching purposes as an expiring contract. Devonte' Graham though, is a capable shooter that could potentially thrive as a 6th man or be traded in a separate deal for more assets by the Thunder.

As for the draft compensation in this deal, the Thunder would get two picks from the New Orleans Pelicans, their own pick in 2023, and a Milwaukee Bucks pick in 2024 acquired via the Jrue Holiday trade. The Philadelphia 76ers would also send their first-round pick for this season. There would also be two second-round picks involved in this from the New Orleans Pelicans as extra sweeteners for the deal.

From a value perspective, this could be a solid enough trade for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and allow them to add to their war chest of picks and young players. The other two teams would get a talent increase, so perhaps this could be beneficial for everyone involved.