It’s been said that Ben Simmons‘ trade value is lower than ever but who are the top ten players the Sixers could land in a Simmons trade? While the top players the Sixers could acquire are certainly important, it’s the honorable mentions who are the more interesting players.
There are a few names who would clearly land at the top of this list but considering their alleged availability, or lack thereof, they are relegated to “Honorable Mention” status.
Every Sixer fan would love the opportunity to bring Damian Lillard to Philadelphia. For months and months, the team has been connected to the Portland star, but to the chagrin of Sixers fans everywhere, Lillard just doesn’t seem interested in being traded.
At least, not yet.
Much in the same vein as Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal inexplicably is content playing for his franchise that lacks direction. A player of Beal’s talent next to Joel Embiid automatically creates a contender, but until he comes to his senses, Bradley Beal will continue to be unavailable for all the NBA teams interested in his services.
There have been plenty of rumors about the Sixers and Nets swapping Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving, and it just hasn’t made much sense. Sure, Irving can’t play in the state his team resides, and sure, both Simmons and Irving make more sense on the other’s team than their own, but… wait, why won’t this work again? Irving did say he’d retire if he got traded, but it’s not the first crazy thing he’s said.
No… no… it’s just too out there… right?
With the Honorable Mentions out of the way, it’s time to turn attention to the players the Sixers would, without question, be able to land for Ben Simmons. The criteria for this are based on the player’s current level of play. Not their value, not their potential, but how good of a player they are currently and how much they’d be able to contribute.
10. Dillon Brooks
Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks would be able to solidify the Sixers’ small forward position for years to come. That, unfortunately, is the peak of what he would be able to do, however. There is very little chance of Brooks becoming a star, and while a gritty 3&D wing would be much appreciated in Philly, it wouldn’t solve the Sixers’ problems.
The team would need to acquire more than just Brooks for any type of solid deal, and while Memphis has several role players who could interest the Sixers, Brooks is certainly the best of them, though that’s not saying much.
9. Collin Sexton
The “Young Bull’ has improved each and every year, and at only 22 years of age, there’s still plenty of room for growth. Collin Sexton is electric with the ball in his hands and can score with the best of them, as long as he has the green light.
While he has that in Cleveland, chances are he won’t have the same freedom in Philadelphia, and that would seriously impact his production. Sexton finished the 2020-21 season in the top 30 in terms of usage rate while the next highest Cav ranked 65th. The Sixers boasted three players who ranked in the top 75 in usage rate, and none of those were Ben Simmons.
8. Buddy Hield
Few players in the NBA have been linked to the Sixers more than Buddy Hield. The Kings guard has proven to be one of the top snipers in the league, and while he’s pedestrian at best as a defender, it’s clear he would fit like a glove offensively.
One of the biggest issues with Hield, though, isn’t even his fault. He just happens to be somewhat redundant with Sixers shooting guard Seth Curry. It’s not the biggest issue, as you can never have too much shooting, but the Sixers will be looking to bring back either some playmaking or defensive ability in addition to the scoring prowess that Hield possesses.
Hield is a solid player, but Curry is a cheaper alternative without much of a dropoff.
7. Dejounte Murray
Ben Simmons is arguably the best defender in the NBA; it would be impossible to replace the level of production that he’s brought to the Sixers’ defense. With that being said, Dejounte Murray could be as close as you can get. Arguably a top-five perimeter defender, Murray does many of the things that Simmons does while also having a jump shot, well… kind of.
Murray shot a career-high three three-pointers per game last season, the first time he’s averaged more than two in a season. He also shot a paltry 31.7% which is far from exciting, but it is a vast improvement over Simmons when you consider the volume.
Dejounte Murray is one of the few players who can make a difference both now and later, as he only recently turned 25.
6. Caris LeVert
Caris LeVert is one of the NBA’s greatest mysteries. Per 100 possessions, he has averaged 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists over his career. In spite of this, LeVert has yet to prove that he is more than a good player on a bad team. Two major reasons for this are his shooting ability (very little) and his availability (again, very little).
LeVert has shown to be a below-average shooter from just about everywhere on the court. When compared to teammate Malcolm Brogdon, they’re almost polar opposites. He’s only shot over 35% from three once in his career, and he’s coming off a stint with Indiana, where he shot 31.8% from deep. While difficult circumstances were surrounding the beginning of his Pacers’ tenure, his percentage last season seems closer to the real Caris LeVert.
Then there are his availability issues. Caris Levert has only played more than 60 games once in his career, and he has only played more than 50 games twice. His lack of availability could be disastrous when paired with the injury concerns that Joel Embiid faces every season. He’s certainly talented, but is it worth the risk for an oft-injured player who is a poor fit?