Ben Simmons is a player who has been featured in many trade rumors, and there is no doubt that he wants out from the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers haven't decided to trade him yet though, and it seems as though they're holding out for better offers than what they've been getting.
The New York Knicks are a defense-first team that has gotten to the playoffs under the leadership of Tom Thibodeau and Julius Randle. Ben Simmons could potentially be a player that fits within their system, and he would definitely increase the talent level on the roster. The New York Knicks also happen to have a fair amount of assets that they could package in order to acquire Ben Simmons. Here is a potential trade scenario that would bring Ben Simmons to the Big Apple:
New York Knicks Receive: Ben Simmons
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: Taj Gibson, Alec Burks, Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, Kevin Knox, 2023 first-round pick via Dallas Mavericks, 2023 first-round pick, 2025 first-round pick, 2023 second-round pick, 2023 second-round pick via Detroit Pistons
The Philadelphia 76ers Get Some Young Players And Draft Compensation
This New York Knicks don't really have that one elite player that they can build a Ben Simmons package around, but they can offer some solid enough prospects along with draft compensation in order to give the 76ers good value in a trade package for a disgruntled All-Star.
Immanuel Quickley made the 2020-21 All-Rookie team, and he projects as a solid shot creator and shooter. Obi Toppin had limited opportunity with the Knicks last season and was the No. 8 pick in the 2020 NBA draft. He could still develop well if given the minutes, and his athleticism is definitely visible. Kevin Knox hasn't had the best tenure with the New York Knicks thus far, but he did shoot 39.3% from beyond the arc last season, and could potentially develop into a solid 3 and D wing with length.
Alec Burks and Taj Gibson are in the trade for salary purposes, but Gibson plays good defense on the interior, while Burks could come back to the 76ers and play that bench spark plug role. It does seem possible that in this scenario, the 76ers might move on from Gibson though as they already have some great bigs on the bench (Andre Drummond, Georges Niang).
The draft compensation is important here, as the New York Knicks would be giving up three first-round picks. Two of them would be the Knicks' own draft picks in 2023 and 2025, while one would be via the Dallas Mavericks in 2023. There would also be two second-round picks in 2023 added as a sweetener.
The Philadelphia 76ers would probably like an All-Star level player in return for Ben Simmons. But if no one is willing to give up an All-Star for Ben Simmons, the next best thing is acquiring assets so they could get one via an extra trade. Even if they don't manage to find an All-Star trade immediately, there are definitely some capable players in this trade that can contribute immediately. They'll also have draft picks to put in any trade package for when an All-Star trade does come up. In terms of simply getting assets, this is a solid trade for the 76ers.
The New York Knicks Get A DPOY Candidate To Improve Their Team
Ben Simmons is a flawed player, but he is still a 3-time All-Star who was top 3 in DPOY voting. Many analysts have lauded his talent and potential. As mentioned previously, Tom Thibodeau is a defensive coach, and he'll certainly like Ben Simmons' versatility on that end of the floor. Ben Simmons' general positional versatility also means the New York Knicks can also utilize him in a variety of ways.
For example, if Ben Simmons ends up playing point guard, then the Knicks can run Kemba Walker as a shooting guard on offense, and allow Simmons to handle the ball. He could also end up playing the SF position and guarding the best players on the other team, and playing a point-forward role offensively. He could even play in a hypothetical small-ball lineup surrounded by Derrick Rose, Kemba Walker, RJ Barrett, and Julius Randle, as his size allows him to guard all positions throughout the course of the game. There's no shortage of different lineups that Thibodeau could run with Ben Simmons simply because of his build and skill set.
It is clear that Ben Simmons is available for trade, and he's been predicted as a player that could be traded before the season starts. The Knicks would be a very good situation for him if they were to go that route. Coach Tom Thibodeau's old school mentality could get the best out of Simmons offensively and he'd also be on a roster that recently made the playoffs as the 4th seed. The New York Knicks also have a lot of players who are prolific from beyond the arc, which means that Ben Simmons would have floor spacing on the offensive end.
There were reports that Ben Simmons wants a trade to the Lakers, the Clippers, or the Warriors. While the Knicks aren't located in California, they are still a big market with a lot of passionate fans. Ben Simmons could certainly be a good acquisition for the Knicks, and perhaps they can get themselves in the trade talks for the All-Star point guard.