NBA Rumors: Knicks Could Acquire Ben Simmons For Trade Package Centered On RJ Barrett

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JB Baruelo

Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons is currently one of the hottest commodities on the trade market. Simmons may remain an official member of the Sixers' roster in the 2021-22 NBA season but with their worsening relationship, most people believe that his departure from Philadelphia is inevitable.

However, the Sixers aren't expected to trade Simmons just for the sake of getting him out of the City of Brotherly Love. In any potential deal involving their disgruntled player, Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey is seeking a young star who would complement Joel Embiid on the court.

Ben Simmons To New York Knicks

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One of the most intriguing trade destinations for Simmons before the 2022 NBA trade deadline is the New York Knicks. In a recent article, Luke Duffy of Fansided's Hoops Habit discussed why the Knicks should trade for Simmons. Simmons may still have some major flaws in his game, but it doesn't erase the fact that he's a three-time NBA All-Star, two-time All-Defensive First Team, and an All-NBA Third Team.

His potential in New York would fulfill their dream of adding a legitimate superstar to their roster.

Knicks Need To Sacrifice RJ Barrett

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Morey definitely won't mind sending Simmons to a conference rival as long as the price is right. To convince Morey and the Sixers to engage in a blockbuster deal, Duffy suggested that the Knicks should be ready to give up a trade package centered on former No. 3 pick RJ Barrett.

"This is why RJ Barrett would have to be in any NBA trades made for Simmons between the two clubs," Duffy wrote. "He’s a player who still has some upside, but has never managed to get it all to come together while in New York for an extended period of time."

Ben Simmons' On-Court Impact On Knicks

Trading Barrett would undeniably be a tough decision for the Knicks, but it might be worth it if it means acquiring another young player with a higher ceiling like Simmons. If he could learn how to space the floor and build more confidence on the court, the Knicks could make Simmons the centerpiece of the next title-contending team that they are trying to build in New York.

The successful acquisition of Simmons could also immediately improve the Knicks' defensive efficiency that currently ranks No. 15 in the league, allowing 106.6 points per 100 possessions, per ESPN.

Acquiring Ben Simmons Without Giving Up RJ Barrett

Before sacrificing Barrett, the Knicks would definitely think of another way to acquire Simmons. Luckily, they possess other precious assets that would enable them to come up with an intriguing offer for the Sixers. In a recent article, Evan Massey of NBA Analysis Network proposed a hypothetical trade idea that would send Simmons to New York without the need to give up Barrett.

In the suggested trade scenario, the Knicks would be trading Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier, Obi Toppin, a 2022 first-round pick, a 2024 first-round pick, and the rights to swap first-rounders in 2023 and 2026 to the Sixers in exchange for Simmons and Isaiah Joe.