Several NBA Basketball Teams Court Ben Simmons
The Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons is fast approaching what could be a significant turning point in his basketball career. The Australian All-Star player reportedly is being courted by several NBA teams, so he might not be a Sixer for much longer.
Among the teams chasing Simmons are the Golden State Warriors, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Portland Trail Blazers, and what may be the idea match, the San Antonio Spurs. The Sixers are said to have made a trade offer in July, but the Spurs rejected it – with one of the likely reasons being that Sixers president, Daryl Morey, was too greedy.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe said that another reason the Simmons trade talks haven’t borne fruit yet is because the Sixers want to use him in a trade for the Blazers’ Damian Lillard.
Potential Game Enhancer
Whatever such a trade would mean for the Sixers, it might not be the best move for Simmons. The Spurs could be the better option, as it would enhance his game. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich even recognised as much earlier this year.
At the time, Popovich admitted that Simmons can’t shoot, but that’s a minor detail in his eyes. The coach explained that Simmons’ unselfish game, his understanding of basketball, and his physical skills were enough to make him an elite player.
If anyone can bring out the best in Simmons, Popovich can. The coach has a record of helping players unlock their talents and transform their basketball game. If Simmons were to end up in the Spurs or the Warriors, he would need to accept a new position – and it would be better for him if that were to happen under Popovich’s guidance.
Understandably, Simmons’ camp hasn’t said much, other than to indicate that the player does not want to find himself in an unhappy situation with a franchise that is less than ideal. He may have his sights on Los Angeles or San Francisco, but there’s still time for him to be swayed by Popovich’s presence in San Antonio.
The Spurs Trade Problem
There’s one potentially big problem with a Sixers-Spur trade involving Simmons. The Sixers aren’t likely to be interested in any names on the Spurs’ roster. Yes, there is good young basketball talent in the persons of Keldon Johnson and Dejounte Murray, but neither would make a fair trade at this stage.
Possible solutions for the Spurs include pooling talent and drafting picks together or acting as a third party in a trade involving three teams. If they choose the latter approach, we could see Simmons go to San Antonio, Lillard go to Philadelphia, and draft stock go to Portland – and that would mean exciting times for all three teams.