Ben Simmons was an unmitigated disaster in the Philadelphia 76ers’ 103-96 Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday. With the season on the line and his team in desperate need of offensive help, he contributed a grand total of 5 points on 4 shots for the day.
It was just Simmons’ latest disappointing showing against the Hawks. He shot a mind-blowing 33 percent on foul shots in the series – somehow a worse total than the 34.2 percent from the line he had been shooting throughout the entire playoffs. It marked the worst free throw percentage in NBA playoff history for a player with at least 70 attempts.
Beyond that, Atlanta held him under 10 points in four out of the seven games in the conference semifinals, including on Sunday.
Based on how clearly irritated Simmons’ coaches and teammates were with him at the end of Game 7, it seems like a lock that he will get dealt sooner rather than later.
A recent tidbit from Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer shines a light on what the Sixers seem to be planning in regards to Simmons.
“Opinions differ on Philadelphia’s decision not to pursue [Kyle] Lowry harder, but there is a consensus around the league that Morey resisted because he’s angling for an even greater star,” O’Connor wrote.
“He’s thinking about stars like Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal becoming available. CJ McCollum or Zach LaVine could also appeal to Philadelphia if they are put on the table.”
Yikes Adrien Broner https://t.co/6PvzjfA3yH
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 14, 2021
Given the assets currently at Philly’s disposal, there is no way they would be able to obtain a max-level player of Lillard’s or Beal’s statures without Simmons being sent back.
Simmons recently went into great detail explaining why he is such a terrible shooter. It will be interesting to see how teams around the league feel about that explanation, and what impact it will ultimately have on his trade value.
One way or another – a divorce seems inevitable. At this juncture it’s just a matter of when, not if.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.