The Ben Simmons saga has continuously dragged on throughout the offseason, with both the Philadelphia 76ers not yet receiving any legitimately good deals for the wantaway point guard. Ben Simmons will most likely be moved though, but the 76ers have held firm thus far.
A team that has been linked with Ben Simmons is the Indiana Pacers. The Philadelphia 76ers reportedly rejected an Indiana Pacers offer for Ben Simmons earlier this summer, which included Malcolm Brogdon and a first-round pick. Even now, it seems as though the Indiana Pacers are still intrigued by the prospect of adding Ben Simmons to the team.
While the original offer was rejected, it is still possible that the Philadelphia 76ers could end up working out a deal with the Indiana Pacers. We have come up with a potential trade that could be good for both teams. The trade features All-Star Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon heading to the 76ers.
Indiana Pacers Receive: Ben Simmons
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon, two future first-round picks
The Philadelphia 76ers Get A Solid Haul For Ben Simmons
The Philadelphia 76ers have made it clear that they want a king's ransom for Ben Simmons. Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that the 76ers initially wanted a "Harden-esque" package for Ben Simmons, involving an All-Star player, along draft picks and draft swaps. Ben Simmons' trade value has likely gotten lower since that was reported though, and it is doubtful that a lot of teams would be willing to give up that many assets for a player coming off his worst playoff performance yet.
The Indiana Pacers have the assets to send a very good package to the Philadelphia 76ers, even if it isn't exactly a superstar-level package. Domantas Sabonis is a 2-time All-Star, who averaged 20.3 PPG, 12.0 RPG, and 6.7 APG during the 2020-21 season. Sabonis is a great offensive player who could take over some of the playmaking and scoring duties on the team. While he is nowhere close to the defender that Simmons is, having Joel Embiid on the team as a rim protector should keep the 76ers' defense afloat.
Malcolm Brogdon is a very good starter, and he led the Indiana Pacers in scoring last season, putting up 21.2 PPG. His shooting would work wonders and space the floor for Sabonis and Embiid in this scenario. While it is possible that Brogdon would have a smaller scoring output on the 76ers due to all the offensive weapons they would have after this trade, he would still be a great addition as a floor spacer and shot creator.
The Indiana Pacers would also add some draft compensation in this deal, sending out some draft picks in order to sweeten the pot. With this deal, the 76ers would get the following: an All-Star, a great starter, and draft compensation. This seems like a great deal for a player that simply does not want to be in Philadelphia, and would allow the team to still be very good in the Eastern Conference. As Ben Simmons' trade value keeps dropping due to him refusing to report and play for the team, this potential trade package could get more and more appealing to the 76ers.
The Indiana Pacers Take A Chance On A Talented Star
Generally, small-market teams need to take some risks in order to achieve success in the NBA. The Indiana Pacers haven't been out of the first round since their 2013-14 Eastern Conference Finals appearance with Paul George as the leading star. They missed the playoffs last season. It seems as though a bold move could be in order.
Ben Simmons isn't a perfect player. There are definitely valid concerns about Ben Simmons on the offensive end: he is a bad free-throw shooter who doesn't take many shots outside of the paint. There have also been questions about his aggressiveness when driving to the rim. At the same time though, there's a lot he brings to the table.
There are few players in the league that are as defensively versatile as Ben Simmons. His perimeter defense is elite, and he can also switch onto most players if need be, even centers at times. Simmons is also a great playmaker and creates a lot of open looks for his teammates at the 3PT line. There's something to be said about his athleticism as well: there are few players that are as physically gifted as him in the league. At the end of the day, Simmons is a player that averaged 14.3 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 6.9 APG with DPOY level defense last season. If he improves his scoring, he'll without question become an elite two-way star.
There has been a lot of negative talk surrounding Ben Simmons, and it is partly warranted after his performance against the Atlanta Hawks in the Conference Finals. It'd be risky for the Indiana Pacers to trade two starters that have made the team semi-competitive over the last few seasons. But Ben Simmons is only 25, and there is still a chance that he can achieve his potential and make improvements. Perhaps a change of scenery and less scrutiny will bring out the best in Simmons, and he could get both those things in Indiana.