Philadelphia 76ers point forward Ben Simmons and Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker are two of the rising superstars who are frequently mentioned in trade rumors. Despite their explosive performances almost every game, they haven’t found much success on their respective teams and are still not viewed on the same level as other legitimate superstars in the league. In order to unleash their full superstar potential, Booker and Simmons might be better off starting a new journey somewhere else in the 2020 offseason.
According to Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report, the Sixers and the Suns could explore a superstar-for-superstar swap that would send Simmons to Phoenix and Booker to Philadelphia. At first glance, it doesn’t look like a fair trade for the Suns. Unlike Simmons, who didn’t finish the 2019-20 NBA season due to injury, Booker leveled up his game and managed to establish a very impressive performance in the Orlando bubble.
However, if he could live up to expectations of a No. 1 overall pick and successfully unlock his three-point-shooting skills, Hughes believes that Simmons would also be a great acquisition for the Suns.
“Phoenix would have to be convinced Simmons has another level to his game, which isn’t all that far-fetched considering his undeniable skill and the ease with which everyone can identify the areas he must improve. It’s cliche, but Simmons is still a jump shot away from having no weaknesses. If Simmons had full control of the Suns offense and the psychological benefit of a fresh start with head coach Monty Williams (who, notably, helped develop a young Anthony Davis in New Orleans), he could explode.”
Though it wouldn’t put him closer to winning his first championship ring, being traded to Phoenix might also end up being advantageous for the former No. 1 overall pick. Unlike in Philadelphia, he could be officially called the face of the franchise in Phoenix which could inspire him to further improve his overall performance.
Meanwhile, the suggested blockbuster deal would allow the Sixers to become a more competitive team in the 2020-21 NBA season. Acquiring Booker would enable them to maximize Joel Embiid’s full potential on the floor. Sharing the court with an elite three-point shooter like Booker would give Embiid the opportunity to spend more time dominating under the basket on the offensive end of the floor.
The Sixers wouldn’t miss Simmons’ playmaking at all since Booker is capable of running the floor and making plays for his teammates. If Booker and Embiid mesh well in the City of Brotherly Love, the Sixers could boast their own version of the Shaquille O’Neal-Kobe Bryant duo next year.