Former Philadelphia 76ers manager Sam Hinkie’s “Trust the Process” concept was one of the most unique if not polarizing moves a franchise has ever made to rebuild a team. In the hopes of landing top draft picks, he gutted the roster of all assets. One of those picks resulted in the No. 1 overall selection of the 2016 NBA draft, Ben Simmons.
When the Sixers took the LSU standout, the franchise pegged him as a cornerstone of the future. However, even with a talented roster, the 76ers are still struggling to make a dent in an Eastern Conference many predicted Philadelphia would dominate.
Let’s look at the possibility of Simmons getting traded. Is it the right move for the franchise.
Ben Simmons’ NBA career so far
Since entering the league — after missing his entire first season with a foot injury and subsequent surgery — Simmons has been an All-NBA talent. With career averages of 16 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists per game, he made his first All-Star team last year.
So far this season, however, Simmons is struggling to score. The 23-year-old is averaging fewer than 15 points per game.
Simmons’ apparent weaknesses
The only weakness in Simmons’ game seems to be his ability to shoot from anywhere outside of six feet. During multiple playoff runs, the Sixers’ offense was hamstrung because Simmons was not a threat from the perimeter. This season, this has become an even bigger issue for Philadelphia this season.
The 76ers’ talented roster not meshing?
On paper, Philadelphia has the best starting five in the Eastern Conference: Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris, Al Horford (finally playing his natural power forward position) and Joel Embiid. When he’s healthy, Embiid has a case for the best big man in the game. And Horford is the best passing big in the conference. So, what’s the problem?
The issue involves Embiid and Horford in the paint. It doesn’t give Simmons any room to operate and attack the basket. This will be a major issue once the playoffs start. The Sixers could be upset in the first round if a team plays a defense that can pack it in the paint.
What type of value would the 76ers get?
When you trade an All-Star you never get equal value on your return. Simmons would probably garner a few first-round picks and a couple of B to B+ players to match salaries.
Moving him for a player who can space the floor is a viable option. A possible trade with the Bucks would be a smart move for both teams; it gives Philadelphia the shooter they need and it entices Giannis Antetokounmpo to stay in Milwaukee with another superstar.
Could the team turn draft picks into another All-Star? It’s possible, especially with the next two classes being incredibly deep at both guard positions.
Why the 76ers shouldn’t do it
Trading Simmons would be a complete panic move by the team. He is arguably one of the 10 best players in the NBA.
Instead of bombarding Simmons with questions about his playing style, some of the attention should go toward head coach Brett Brown. He’s been incredibly ineffective at making X’s and O’s that mesh with the current roster.
Simmons isn’t the only Sixers starter who’s struggling. New acquired free agent Al Horford hasn’t put up anywhere near the numbers he did in Boston.
Do you think Ben Simmons will get traded?
Will the Philadelphia 76ers really move their budding superstar? We think this is the wrong decision and expect tactics to change as the team heads into the second part of the season.
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