Ben Simmons seemingly wants out of Philly. Not only that, but it seems like the controversial All-Star is trying to force the Sixers to send him Californi’ way.
According to Bleacher Report’s Jason Dumas, Ben Simmons has stopped all communication with just about everyone in the Sixers organization. Not only that, but Ben Simmons is interested in a trade, but seemingly only to the Golden State Warriors.
Trade Scenario #1: Simmons Gets His Wish
If Simmons wants to bolt from Philadelphia and head out “Californi’ way,” then let him. Daryl Morey just has to make sure he gets solid value back in return. The Sixers are unlikely to be able to trade Simmons for anyone they see to be both an immediate contributor and a long-term piece for the team, but that shouldn’t stop the Sixers from negotiating with Golden State Warriors.
While on the surface, Andrew Wiggins seems like the centerpiece of the trade, it’s really about the young players and draft picks the Sixers would be acquiring. Jonathan Kuminga was one of the most highly touted players entering the NBA draft, and Moses Moody was not far behind, yet they both fell to the Warriors at 7 and 14, respectively.
Typically a draft pick is more valuable than the player selected with that pick due to the added benefit that is the optionality before the pick is made. That isn’t completely the case with Kuminga and Moody, though, as both were considered draft-day steals. Those two paired with the Warriors’ two draft picks and any assets the Sixers would include would be enough to land a big fish the size of Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal.
The Sixers Trade Simmons To California,
But They Do Not Grant Him The Rank of Warrior
The Sixers could certainly give Simmons his wish and send him to the Golden State Warriors, or…
Word is that Simmons isn’t just interested in the Warriors, but he’s open to the “California teams” in a general sense. That is also per Jason Dumas, and if that is true, well, then Daryl Morey could very well find himself back on the phone with another California team.
Now no, Sacramento isn’t LA or San Fran, but if Simmons wants to go to California so bad, he may have to be a little loose on what part. The Kings clearly have interest in Simmons; it’s just a matter of the two teams agreeing on a price. Earlier this offseason, the Kings offered the Sixers a pitiful offer of Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley for Simmons.
That offer was quickly rebuffed; add in Tyrese Haliburton and two first, and you have yourself a deal. The Sixers would be adding one of the top three-point shooters of all-time in Hield while securing a promising young guard in Haliburton. Throw in a young big in Bagley who could still bounce back, and two first-round picks would give the Sixers a solid return even if they do have to include Isaiah Joe in the deal.
Dame-Time At Long Last
The pieces are there; it’s just up to the teams to figure this out. Damian Lillard clearly wants out of Portland, Neil Olshey clearly can’t build around Lillard, and the Warriors and Sixers interest in Simmons and Lillard, respectively, is equally obvious. It’s time the three teams just got this done. Send Simmons to Golden State for Wiggins, Wiseman, and two first-rounders that you move to Portland combined with Tyrese Maxey and more first-round picks, and you have a deal that Olshey would be foolish to turn down.
An opportunity for a win-win-win trade is hard to believe, but the Warriors land another star in Simmons, the Blazers have a chance to rebuild, and with a head-start, and the Sixers finally get their man in Damian Lillard. Ben Simmons wants to go to California? Sure, but not unless it truly benefits the Sixers.