Ben Simmons development in the offseason will be one of the most discussed topics in the NBA, as the point guard earned a lot of criticism from both fans, rivals, and experts for the way he played this campaign and how his flaws took him and his 76ers to fail in the postseason once again.
Now everybody is wondering whether Simmons is going to (finally) start developing a jumper that he can use consistently in games and help his team to get past the Eastern Conference Semifinals, where they got eliminated in the last two playoffs.
Despite being playing only his second season in the association, the Aussie struggled once the playoffs came around and his effectiveness on offense was nearly inexistent. Even sometimes Jimmy Butler was in charge of running the offense as the point guard. There are several expectations over what the next season will be like for Simmons, and if he doesn’t improve his game, things only will get worse.
In recent hours Simmons was reportedly involved in a trade that would send him to L.A. and would take LeBron James to Philadelphia. In addition, on a recent episode of “The Bill Simmons Podcast", host Bill Simmons and The Ringer NBA writers Kevin O’Connor and Jonathan Tjarks decided to discuss a few fake Simmons trade ideas and some of them actually didn’t sound that bad. There was one involving the Sixers dealing him for Blazers guard C.J. McCollum, another with the Clippers and the last and most interesting of all, the Celtics trading Jayson Tatum to Philly.
Bill Simmons suggested the deal and this is pretty much what went down:
Tjarks: “That’s really interesting. Tatum would be a better fit with (Joel) Embiid for sure. And then Simmons in Boston if Kyrie (Irving) leaves.”
Simmons: “We let Kyrie go. Then we go Simmons, (Gordon) Hayward, Jaylen Brown, whoever the picks are, (Al) Horford and then put the team in Simmons’ hands.”
Tjarks: “That would be fascinating. I would do it.”
O’Connor: "If I’m Philly? Yeah (he’d do it). I would rather have Tatum if I’m Boston.
That deal is highly unlikely right now, but it kind of make sense if you think. If Kyrie decides to leave Boston, Simmons could be the perfect replacement for him. As for Jayson, he actually didn’t make any improvement in his game, unlike Simmons, who got his first call to the All-Star, but that’s logical when you see how inconsistent the Celtics were this season.
If they want to land Tatum in exchange for Simmons, the Sixers would need a proper replacement for Ben and that’s something they don’t have right now. There are several factors to have in mind in this scenario and how it can be pulled off, but it’s funny to think how two players who were just a draft pick away from becoming teammates could be traded for each other in certain conditions.