The Brooklyn Nets acquired Ben Simmons from the Philadelphia 76ers last year in hopes of bundling him with their two existing superstars and forming a new three-headed monster.
Simmons’ playmaking abilities and lock down defense were supposed to mesh perfectly with what Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving bring to the table nightly.
Unfortunately, Simmons has looked like a shell of his former self this season. He is still mentally broken from that infamous Atlanta Hawks series that ended his run in Philly, and while he sometimes shows glimpses of being half-decent, for the most part he just struggles to make an impact.
With the NBA Trade Deadline rapidly approaching, chatter has emerged around the league regarding whether the Nets may be open to dealing Simmons ahead of Feb. 9.
According to Alex Schiffer and John Hollinger of The Athletic, a deal involving Simmons is unlikely at any point in the foreseeable future.
“As for trading Simmons, good luck with that,” they wrote.
“The Nets would need to attach draft picks, not receive them, and — last I checked — they need a permission slip from the Rockets to do anything with any of their draft capital.”
The big problem for Simmons is that Brooklyn was supposed to be the ideal situation for someone like him. There are two dynamic scorers on the roster to alleviate the pressure to shoot, plus a number of dead-eye marksmen to spread the floor.
If Simmons can’t do better than he has with the Nets, it is hard to see a better situation opening up for him.
“I just don’t see any cap situation right now on another roster where exchanging for Simmons would be helpful, and that won’t change unless either Simmons plays better or another player on a huge contract plays badly enough that trading him for Simmons becomes palatable,” Schiffer and Hollinger added.
“(Although, I must admit it would be hilarious to see a Simmons-Tobias Harris challenge trade that sends him back to Philly). I mean, would you trade Simmons to Dallas for Davis Bertans and Tim Hardaway, Jr.? Those are the types of deals you’re probably looking at.”
The Nets’ NBA Trade Deadline plan is something of an open secret at this point.
It is hard to see them deviating too much from that over the next week and change.
There have been some recent rumors about Brooklyn and the Atlanta Hawks maybe being able to agree on a trade, but thus far nothing has materialized on that front.
Joe Burrow’s girl shared some sad photos after the NFL Refs beat the Bengals for the AFC Title. https://t.co/eXorPjnKbv
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 30, 2023
For better or worse, this is probably it for the Nets. Will they be able to make a title run with this version of Simmons alongside Durant and Irving?
One way or another, the answer to that question will emerge over the next couple of months.
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