Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers have become that one couple that everyone knows are no good for each other but that just won’t break up. Ever since arriving at Philadelphia, both the 76ers and their loyal fan base have been patiently waiting for Ben Simmons to finally explode but apart from flashes of greatness here and there, nothing else has really happened. The 76ers have been perennial characters in most of the NBA championship odds lists around for the past few years but most of this success has been because of Joel Embiid, not Ben Simmons as it was expected from the get go.
With a trade being the most logical situation for mutual benefit between Simmons and Philadelphia, what could the best trade scenarios for all parties involved be?
Let’s Talk About Ben Simmons’ Real Value First
You can’t take away from Ben Simmons what he has rightfully earned. He’s a three-time All-Star with multiple appearances on the NBA’s All-Defensive squads, all this before turning 25. In all honesty, if these were the stats of another player, whose name wasn’t Ben Simmons, you would see two things. One would be for many teams salivating over the idea of getting him for their team and two would be for the team who owns him to not let him go for anything. But given how poorly Simmons has played on the offensive side of the ball, especially when the time has come for him to put up. It’s because of this that first of all the Sixers are looking at sending Simmons away as one of the best options right now for both parts and secondly that the market to snag up someone of an elite level is not really one where the Sixers should be looking to come into.
Apart from all this, there’s the monetary factor of bringing Ben Simmons in that every team interested in him has to take into account. Simmons will be coming into the 3rd year of a four-year max contract extension he signed worth over $140 million. There is no real team in the league who will be looking at dealing Simmons without asking for more out of Philadelphia, including top draft picks to take on what Simmons and his salary mean.
First Trade Scenario: Ben Simmons for CJ McCollum
This is a trade that makes immense sense for both parts of the deal. Shipping McCollum to Philadelphia would guarantee the 76ers an elite scorer with a very high upmarket. Of course, to take away Damian Lillard’s main man in Portland Philadelphia would not only need to send Simmons but also give up a pick and maybe a box of cheese steak sandwiches to finish sweetening up the deal. What’s absolutely true is that both teams could definitely benefit from this trade in great ways.
While Portland would be able to pair Lillard up with a player whose best game comes on the defensive side, which would also mean that Simmons could stop trying so hard to always be the man with all the shots, Philadelphia would give Embiid a partner who can easily play that second fiddle role as a top scorer in the Sixers starting five.
Second Trade Scenario: Ben Simmons for Zach Lavine
Zach Lavine has quietly become one of the more elite shooting guards in the league as of lately. LaVine might not be an elite scorer per se but he is way better than Simmons, that is a sure thing, and if he was to decide to not sign an extension with the Bulls and actually go to the Sixers, a one year prove it deal could end up working wonders for both teams. Lavine is coming off his first All-Star appearance and is in a continuous talent growth span in the NBA, something that could benefit Philadelphia’s win now mentality from the get go.
On Simmons’ side of the trade, he would be going into a Chicago team where he could transition perfectly more into his desired role as a small forward while playing more freely thanks to Nikola Vucecic’s different offensive playing style at center. The Bulls are in dire need of a defensive upgrade and who better to offer that than a player who might not shoot to save his life but can defend like a monster, like Ben Simmons?