New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis is expected to be the hottest commodity on the trade market in the 2019 NBA offseason. With their collection of young and promising players and future first-round picks, the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers have emerged as the top landing spots for Davis. However, other NBA teams are still expected to make an offer to the Pelicans, especially the Philadelphia 76ers, who have been keeping an eye on Davis from the time he demanded a trade from New Orleans before the February NBA trade deadline.
Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report recently created a list of trade packages every NBA team could offer to the Pelicans next summer. In the deal that would send Anthony Davis to Philly, Buckley suggested that the Sixers could explore a trade package including Ben Simmons, Zhaire Smith, and a 2019 second-round pick. Though it’s not as attractive as what the Celtics and the Lakers could trade, Buckley believes that Simmons will serve as the “golden ticket” in the Davis-to-Sixers deal.
“Simmons is a 6’10” floor general. You never see that. Even if he never expands his scoring range, he could still be a generational talent. Oh, and he’s 22 years old. Granted, those are probably all reasons Philly might prefer to just keep him, but if this bold front office has an eye for Davis, Simmons could be its golden ticket. Smith and the second-rounder are sweeteners. Smith is an explosive athlete who doesn’t turn 20 until June. The second-round pick is coming from Chicago, meaning it functions as almost a late-first.”
Ben Simmons salutes 'Egg Boy' who confronted senator over Christchurch attack https://t.co/BPArH3sDSB
— Guardian US (@GuardianUS) March 20, 2019
Trading Ben Simmons is undeniably a tough decision for the 76ers, but including him in the trade package is the only way to catch the attention of the Pelicans. The successful acquisition of Anthony Davis will make the Sixers’ a more dangerous team in the 2019-20 NBA season, especially if they succeed in re-signing Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris in the 2019 NBA free agency. Davis won’t have a hard time sharing the frontcourt with Joel Embiid since he can also play at the power forward position.
Meanwhile, Ben Simmons will give the Pelicans the centerpiece of the next title-contending team that they are planning to build in the post-Anthony Davis era. Though there are still plenty of things that he needs to improve in his game, Simmons is one of the young players in the league who has the ability to lead a franchise. Being the main guy in New Orleans will undeniably speed up Simmons; development into a legitimate NBA superstar in the league.