Despite missing out on James Harden, the Philadelphia 76ers are still atop the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 20-11. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are playing well in Doc Rivers’ first year as head coach and look primed to lead the Sixers on a deep playoff run.
Since Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey is one of the most aggressive execs in NBA history, most pundits expect Philadelphia to make a blockbuster move before the trade deadline passes.
While Ben Simmons is all for the team getting better, he may not like the player the Sixers are reportedly interested in acquiring.
The Sixers are seeking major moves to increase their championship odds
Joel Embiid is putting up MVP numbers and Ben Simmons is playing like a solid Robin. However, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Sixers are “still seeking major moves” to increase their NBA championship odds.
Philadelphia hasn’t made it past the second round of the playoffs in the Embiid-Simmons era. Simmons’ lack of a jump shot hurts the Sixers in the postseason since opposing teams pack the paint and dare the lefty to beat them from the outside. Defenses also double team Embiid in the post and get the All-Star center into foul trouble.
The additions of sharpshooters Danny Green and Seth Curry have helped the Sixers become more versatile on offense. However, Philadelphia is still missing a veteran perimeter shot-creator.
One player who can fill that void is Toronto Raptors point guard and Philadelphia native Kyle Lowry. The one-time champion is in the final season of his contract and expendable now that Fred VanVleet has blossomed into a star for Toronto.
He’ll never admit it, but Ben Simmons probably doesn’t want the Sixers to acquire Kyle Lowry since the two have some history.
Ben Simmons and Kyle Lowry wanted to fight each other in 2018
During the 2017-18 season, Ben Simmons and Kyle Lowry wanted to fight each other in Philadelphia. The two guards were both ejected after getting into it, and Simmons signaled for Lowry to meet him in the locker room.
Simmons also elbowed Lowry in the groin in the 2019 playoffs. It’s evident the two aren’t fond of each other, which would make it fascinating to see them as teammates on the Sixers.
The Raptors are 16-0 in their last 16 games without Lowry. It may be time for Toronto to part ways with its franchise player and get some assets in return so they don’t lose Lowry in free agency. While it wouldn’t make sense for the Raptors to trade Lowry to a team in their division, stranger things have happened in the NBA before.
Ben Simmons and Kyle Lowry would form a lethal dynamic duo on the Sixers’ backcourt. However, it’s unknown if the former Rookie of the Year still has issues with the 34-year-old and if he would be content with Lowry being his teammate.
The Sixers could break up their core if they don’t play well in the 2021 playoffs
If the Sixers don’t perform well in the 2021 playoffs, Daryl Morey could break up the team’s core of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris. Trading Embiid is believed to be off the table since he’s a perennial MVP candidate, but Simmons and Harris aren’t untradeable.
NBA fans would love to see the Raptors and Brooklyn Nets meet in the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals. To Ben Simmons’ chagrin, though, Philadelphia may need Kyle Lowry to compete with Brooklyn in a seven-game series.