Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons is getting criticized heavily by everyone after his awful Game 7 performance versus the Atlanta Hawks. He played so poorly that even one of his biggest supporters in sports media has had enough of his putrid offensive skills.
Simmons has likely played his final game for the Sixers. He’s probably the most hated athlete in Philadelphia at the moment, and one of the largest media personalities in sports didn’t hold back in his criticism of the lefty despite calling him an “ultra talent.”
Stephen A. Smith goes off on Ben Simmons
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith says it’s time for the Sixers to trade Simmons, who finished with five points in Game 7 against the Hawks on four shots. Philadelphia fans booed Simmons as he walked off the floor following the game, and Smith called the 2017-18 Rookie of the Year an “atrocity on the offensive side of the ball.”
“Ben Simmons, I’m sorry I hate to say this because he’s an ultra talent, he has no shot, no confidence whatsoever,” Smith said on SportsCenter. “He’s only great on offense when he’s going downhill. You gotta trade him. You gotta trade Ben Simmons. It’s really, really that simple. Him and Joel Embiid, that experiment is over. We’ve seen enough. Ben Simmons has to be moved.”
Smith believes Simmons is a jump shot away from becoming the next LeBron James since he’s a terrific passer, defender, and fast-break threat. However, the LSU product came into the NBA without a jumper and still doesn’t have one. He has simply never put the work in to become a better player.
The Sixers will likely try and trade Simmons this offseason. However, general manager Daryl Morey will have a difficult time getting good value in return.
Ben Simmons has zero trade value right now
In July 2019, the Sixers gave Simmons a five-year, $177.2 million maximum rookie contract extension. The All-Star made $30.6 million this season and is set to make $33 million in 2021-22. After his putrid showing in the playoffs, Simmons likely has zero trade value around the league, meaning the Sixers would probably get a disappointing return for the 2016 No. 1 overall draft pick if they decide to move him.
The Sixers tried to acquire James Harden from the Houston Rockets and offered Simmons as the headline player in the deal. However, they missed out on the Beard and watched him get traded to the Brooklyn Nets. Simmons was reportedly ecstatic not to be traded since he believed the team could make some noise in the postseason. However, his lack of a jumper once again hurt Philadelphia when it mattered most.
With Simmons and Joel Embiid leading the way, the Sixers haven’t advanced past the second round of the playoffs. Since Simmons can’t shoot the ball, Embiid often doesn’t have room to operate in the post since teams pack the paint against him due to Simmons’ inability to shoot jump shots. It’s evident that it’s time for the Sixers to trade the Australia native, but they may become a worse team since they will surely get a terrible return for Simmons and lose their best passer and perimeter defender.
This is why Morey gets paid the big bucks. He has to figure out how to trade Simmons while replacing his playmaking skills and getting more shooting around Embiid.
Sixers fans are clearly done with Ben
Multiple Sixers fans posted videos online of them burning their Simmons jerseys after the Game 7 loss to the Hawks. They are clearly sick and tired of watching a max contract player afraid to shoot the ball.
In 34 career playoff games, Simmons has made five shots outside of 10 feet from the basket, per Paul Hembekides of ESPN. He played 34 minutes in the fourth quarter of Games 4-7 of the Hawks series and had 0 field goal attempts. That is unacceptable, and Sixers fans have had enough.
It will be fascinating to see where Simmons plays next season. If he’s somehow back on the Sixers, though, expect Philadelphia fans to be outraged.