The Philadelphia 76ers’ 103-96 Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks last Sunday had massive implications for the franchise.
In the immediate aftermath, both head coach Doc Rivers and center Joel Embiid threw Ben Simmons under the bus with shocking ease. That prompted many to wonder whether a trade was in the works.
To be fair, the Simmons slander was understandable. With the season on the line and Philly in desperate need of offensive support, Simmons contributed exactly five points on four shots for the day.
This prompted a lot of negative headlines over the last few days, including one particularly disturbing leak that clearly came from the Sixers.
Given everything that has transpired, it is increasingly beginning to look like a trade is inevitable. And if one occurs, it sounds like there is at least one legitimate title contender who is intrigued by the prospect of adding Simmons.
According to ESPN NBA insider Stephen A. Smith, the Golden State Warriors are very much in the sweepstakes for Simmons’ services.
“I believe the Golden State Warriors are going to make a push for Ben Simmons. … I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but calls have already been made. Things are percolating.”
— First Take (@FirstTake) June 25, 2021
“I believe the Golden State Warriors are going to make a push for Ben Simmons, OK? So stay tuned,” Smith said on First Take.
“It’s possible that Ben Simmons could end up in Golden State with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but calls have already been made. Things are percolating.”
Simmons is coming off a rough playoff run. He shot 33 percent from the free throw line against Atlanta – down from the 34.2 percent he had been shooting in the postseason up to that point. All in all, Simmons posted the worst free throw percentage in NBA playoff history for a player with at least 70 attempts.
Simmons, for his part, has offered a very peculiar explanation for why he is such a terrible shooter.
That being said, Simmons is still supremely talented and only 24 years old. While the four years remaining on his $177 million contract seems hefty, it’s actually not particularly bad for a player of his skill level. And on a team like the Warriors, one so loaded with offensive firepower, a lot of his weaknesses would be hidden.
The Sixers have made their trade plan for Simmons reasonably clear.
The Bucks owner’s daughter decided to bring 2021 in with a bang by stripping all her clothes off. https://t.co/UgzhEEna4o
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 7, 2021
Golden State will likely need to give up James Wiseman and draft capital to make this deal happen, and it’d probably need to include a third team since Philly has zero use for Wiseman.
Will this trade ultimately go down? It’s hard to say. Should it? Absolutely.