The acquisition of Jimmy Butler has undeniably made the Philadelphia 76ers a legitimate title contender in the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference. However, since the blockbuster trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves, one of the Sixers’ major weaknesses has been exposed which is floor spacing. Butler and Joel Embiid somewhat managed to build good chemistry, but Ben Simmons, who’s not a known three-point shooter, is starting to become the odd man out in the City of Brotherly Love.
Even before they traded for Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were already having a hard time sharing the court together. As of now, Zach Lowe of ESPN revealed that there is a call around the league for the Sixers to consider trading Simmons for shooters.
“Every time the Sixers lose a high-profile game — especially to Boston — there are calls across the media for them to trade Simmons. Embiid is the superior player. Philly has built its half-court offense mostly around him. Simmons’ lack of a jump shot becomes more of a liability in the postseason, when the game slows. The young cornerstones do not complement each other, at least not as much as you’d like.”
According to Lowe, the call for Ben Simmons trade won’t stop until the Sixers prove that they can at least enter the Eastern Conference Finals with their current roster. Trading the former No. 1 overall pick is undeniably a tough decision, but in order to win an NBA championship title, the Sixers should have players that can efficiently work together inside the court.
If the Sixers decide to trade Ben Simmons, one of their potential trade partners is the Denver Nuggets. Lowe suggested that the Sixers could trade Simmons to Denver for Jamal Murray and Gary Harris.
“If you dreamt up a Simmons-for-multiple-shooters deal, you might land upon a pairing like Gary Harris and Jamal Murray — 3-point gunners who make plays off the bounce.”
Jamal Murray and Gary Harris could improve the Sixers’ floor spacing, and their games could complement Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler. This season, Murray is averaging 18.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 5.0 assists on 42.5 percent shooting from the field and 33.2 percent shooting from beyond the arc, while Harris is averaging 16.0 points on 43.2 percent shooting from the field and 33.2 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Pairing Ben Simmons with Nikola Jokic may intrigue the Nuggets. However, it remains a big question mark if the Nuggets will risk the success they are having right now for the chance to add a former No. 1 overall pick on their roster. The Nuggets are currently the No. 1 team in the deep Western Conference with a 27-12 record. Still, anything can happen between now and the February NBA trade deadline.