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NBA Trade Rumors: Bulls Could Acquire Ben Simmons For Zach LaVine And Lauri Markkanen

(via Fadeaway World)

(via Fadeaway World)

Without Ben Simmons, the Philadelphia 76ers are going to have trouble advancing in the 2020 postseason. Following their 109-101 defeat in game one, they will have to battle back behind the leadership of Joel Embiid if they want any hope of making some noise.

As for what's next, only Sixers GM Elton Brand can answer that question. If they get eliminated (or even swept) by the Celtics, it's safe to say there will be major changes to the roster, likely involving one of their two stars, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

Regarding the latter, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report recently illustrated a potential deal that could help resolve a lot of their problems.

The Trade: 2020 No. 1 overall pick, G/F Zach LaVine, PF Lauri Markkanen to Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons

LaVine and Markkanen could step in and help Philly right away, with the former averaging 25.5 points per game this season, 11th-highest in the NBA. A lineup of Shake Milton, LaVine, Tobias Harris, Markkanen and Embiid would feature plenty of scoring and would be the best outside-shooting lineup since the Process began.

The Sixers would then have their choice of any prospect on the board, likely leaning toward a playmaker like LaMelo Ball to help make up for the loss of Simmons.

With Lauri and LaVine, the Sixers get two guys who can bolster the offense (especially on the perimeter) and add some additional depth alongside Joel Embiid. Considering long-distance shooting has been their biggest flaw since the Simmons/Embiid era began, that would be a pretty big deal.

As for the Bulls, the acquisition of Simmons would mark their first true "superstar" arrival since Derrick Rose.

For Chicago, getting Simmons would mean letting him have full control of a team for the first time in his career and unlocking his potential in whatever role the new head coach sees fit. The Bulls wouldn't have gutted the roster for him, either, filling out a starting lineup with Wendell Carter Jr., Coby White, Thaddeus Young and Otto Porter Jr.

Already playing in a major market, the Bulls would suddenly become a far more attractive free-agent destination and would project to open up max cap space in 2021.

Simmons is still young and has a lot of potential as a point-forward. The Bulls could use him as a centerpiece to build their team around and his presence there would likely increase their chances of landing another star in free agency.

It's a solid deal for everyone and a true win-win scenario for both sides. Of course, only time will tell if this scenario will become a reality.