NBA Trade Rumors: 76ers Could Offer Ben Simmons & Two 1st-Round Picks To Mavericks For Luka Doncic

Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles the ball against Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on January 11, 2020 in Dallas, Texas.
Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

As the 2019-20 NBA season remains in limbo, several crazy trade ideas continue to surface all around the league. One of these hypothetical deals suggested that Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic could be headed to the Philadelphia 76ers to join forces with All-Star center Joel Embiid. The proposed trade scenario appeared in a recent article written by Preston Ellis of Bleacher Report.

In the suggested trade deal, the Sixers would be sending a trade package that includes Ben Simmons, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 2020 first-round pick, and Philadelphia’s 2021 first-round pick to the Mavericks in exchange for Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr. The potential deal would be a no-brainer for the Sixers.

The departure of Simmons would undeniably break the hearts of lots of Sixers’ fans, but it would definitely be worth it as it would enable them to replace him with another All-Star that complements Embiid’s game in Doncic. Hardaway Jr. may just be included in the deal for financial purposes, but Ellis believes that he would be a good addition to the Sixers’ core, especially with his ability to space the floor.

“Meanwhile, Embiid could thrive alongside Doncic’s 9.1 three-point attempts per game in Philadelphia. The Mavericks would also have to throw in Tim Hardaway Jr. for salary-matching purposes, but he’d further improve the Sixers’ floor spacing after shooting a career-high 40.7 percent from deep this season. Since the Sixers would be getting the best player in this deal, they’d also send over the top-20-protected 2020 first-round pick that the Oklahoma City Thunder owe them (which is currently projected to convey), along with a fully unprotected 2021 first-rounder.”

Since entering the league in 2018, Doncic has been playing like an All-Star. A year after winning Rookie of the Year award, the 21-year-old Slovenian forward earned his first All-Star recognition after establishing an impressive performance on both ends of the floor. This season, he’s averaging 28.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 8.7 assists, and 1.1 steals while shooting 46.1 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Doncic would be an incredible replacement for Simmons as Embiid’s new running mate since unlike the former No. 1 overall pick, the Slovenian superstar doesn’t hesitate to shoot the ball from beyond the arc. Having a legitimate three-point threat like Doncic by his side would make it easier for Embiid to penetrate the basket or kick the ball out when he’s trapped by the opposing team’s defense.

However, no matter how intrigued they are with the idea of pairing Simmons with Latvian center Kristaps Porzingis, it is highly unlikely that the Mavericks would ever consider trading Doncic to the Sixers this summer. Instead of trading Doncic, the Mavericks are expected to explore ways to build a legitimate title contender around him and Porzingis.