Should the Sixers consider Trading Ben Simmons?
When Ben Simmons won the rookie of the year three seasons ago, it was hardly a surprise. The 76ers’s point guard stood out for his size, skill, and similarities to LeBron James. He finished off that season with 15.8 points per game along with 8.2 rebounds and 8.1 assists. The one knack on his game was that he couldn’t shoot. The hope was that with time he would develop that shot and improve his already stellar game overall. The reality is that in his third season, Simmons hasn’t actually improved. Without any upward trend and the team dropping down to 6th in the East, the Sixers may want to contemplate a trade.
The Joel Embiid Factor
While Simmons and Joel Embiid may first strike as a dynamic duo, that may not be the case. Both players are at their best, scoring wise, when they are working in the paint. Seeing as though Simmons has embraced the role as the facilitator, Embiid has been left to take on the brunt of the scoring. Feeding it to the big man should be a winning formula, and overall it has been successful for the 76ers. However, the problem is when the team needs another scoring option, Simmons is unable to step up if Embiid is clogging up the paint. Without him shooting, the 76ers offense remains stagnant and making a huge dent in the east seems far off.
Does Simmons need to be more of a scorer?
The answer is yes. On the season, he is only averaging 14.3 points per game. If the Sixers want to secure wins, Simmons needs score more, which means that he needs to start taking more shots. Standing at 6’10, not many point guards would be able to contest a shot from him. Even if he starts opening for the mid-range, adding that wrinkle to his game will open the offense more. In doing so, he will not only be a bigger threat himself, but make the game easier for his teammates. Yet, Simmons has demonstrated a hesitation for even looking for that shot. Without him acting as a shooter and scorer, the Sixers will continue to suffer. Thus, it stands to reason if the team will be better off moving him?
Time for a trade?
At Simmons age and with his talent, there are still a number of teams who could benefit from his talents. Moreover, the 76ers could obtain a point guard who isn’t afraid to look for that shot. A few names spring to mind, like Chris Paul and even Kyle Lowry (if the Toronto Raptors are willing you let him go). At the bare minimum, the Sixers could at least test the market to see what they could get in return. Obviously, the Philadelphia top brass would rather keep him in the fold. Yet, if they aren’t advancing, the question becomes is he worth it? If not, the Sixers would be better off moving him.
No one can say that Simmons is untalented. However, he is limited because of his refusal to shoot. Without making a change to his game, his partnership with Embiid has a time limit. Thus, it may be very possible for the Sixers to move Simmons sooner than later. It might be what they have to do to win.