Since Philadelphia 76ers acquired Jimmy Butler in a blockbuster deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Ben Simmons suddenly became the odd man out in the City of Brotherly Love. With his inability to knock down shots from beyond the arc, Simmons is no longer a good fit in the Sixers’ offense that is mostly designed for Butler.
The Sixers haven’t shown any indication that they plan on moving Ben Simmons before the February NBA trade deadline, but according to Zach Lowe of ESPN, there have been calls around the league for the Sixers to trade the former No. 1 overall pick for multiple shooters.
“The Sixers have time to play this out, even after the Butler trade accelerated their timetable. Simulate the next five seasons of Sixers basketball a thousand times, and a lot of simulations would include the Sixers trading Simmons. Stars are traded toward the end of their second contracts all the time. The fit issues are real. But that is one outcome among many.”
Lowe suggested several trade ideas that the Sixers may consider if ever they decide to trade Ben Simmons. In a proposed trade deal with the Hornets, the Sixers will be sending Simmons to Charlotte for Kemba Walker, Miles Bridges, and an unprotected first-round pick. The Sixers need to add more players to match the Hornets’ outgoing salaries.
If the trade becomes a reality, it could help both the Hornets and the Sixers address the areas they need to improve on their roster. The Sixers will be acquiring a legitimate NBA superstar who could be a better fit with Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid. Kemba Walker will give the Sixers a very reliable scoring option who can efficiently shoot the ball from the three-point range. This season, the 28-year-old point guard is averaging 25.2 points, 5.7 assists, and 1.2 steals on 43.5 percent shooting from the field and 36.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Aside from Kemba Walker, the Sixers will be receiving a young player and a future first-round pick that could help them improve their roster depth. The Sixers could also use those assets if they plan to engage in another blockbuster trade.
Meanwhile, the deal will only be beneficial for the Hornets if they decide to undergo a full-scale rebuild. Since the 2018 NBA offseason, the Hornets have informed the entire league that they have no intention of trading the face of the franchise, Kemba Walker. However, trading Walker is something that the Hornets should consider if they will be acquiring a player of Ben Simmons’ caliber.