Brian Windhorst Reports Ben Simmons Trade Value Still Sky-High
Ben Simmons is a very good basketball player who can do a lot of things at an extremely high level. Unfortunately, his inability and unwillingness to shoot the ball when the games matter most is a flaw that must be fixed for the All-NBA defender to help his team win anything of note. Whether or not he can fix that problem is a very legitimate concern.
That is why discussions about how the Philadelphia 76ers could trade their young star have dominated discussion in the days since the team lost Game 7 to the Atlanta Hawks. These discussions are perhaps a bit premature, but the Sixers will probably never have a better chance to win a championship. The Lakers lost in the first round, the Nets lost in the second. The only team remaining with the capability to defend Joel Embiid is the Suns. And the 76ers missed the opportunity to capitalize on that easy route to a title in part because of Simmons' offensive deficiencies.
It doesn't help that Daryl Morey, known maker of deals, is in charge and won't hesitate to pull the trigger if the right offer comes along. But he won't sell low on Simmons' talents and his max contract doesn't make a deal easy. Brian Windhorst, discussing the developments on ESPN yesterday, said that if Morey were to put Simmons on the trade block, as many as a dozen teams would call and try to trade for him:
Windhorst doubled down on that during his Hoop Collective podcast that dropped today, noting that many teams would be interested if Simmons became available.
As Windhorst notes in the segment above, there's a difference between a dozen teams calling for Simmons and a dozen worthwhile trade offers. If Morey declared to the world that he's open to taking calls for the former Rookie of the Year, you can bet your bottom dollar nearly every team in the league would try and get him for essentially nothing. But even if Morey was desperate to dump Simmons (which he should not be, despite what the discourse of the last four days suggests), he wouldn't trade him for a handful of bad contracts and late first-round picks.
That isn't really the point here, though. The point is that Simmons has his downsides, but his upsides are so significant that even after a disastrous playoff outing, a third of the NBA would be willing to try and get him on their rosters. It's an important factoid to keep in mind, I think, as the offseason grows long and trade rumors creep closer to becoming reality.