While there are a number of points on the timeline Sixers fan can point to that signal the end of “The Process,” the most clear example came in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals last season.
With the opportunity to tie the ball game with under four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Simmons spun baseline into what seemed like an easy dunk attempt.
Unfortunately for him (and the Sixers), that’s not how it played out.
Ben Simmons did not just pass this up… pic.twitter.com/4JyM7ZHNkJ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 21, 2021
Instead, he opted to dump the ball to Matisse Thybulle and the rest is history.
Against the Atlanta Hawks, Simmons finished that series scoring just 19 points total over Games 5, 6, and 7.
Time For A Trade
Simmons has made no secret of his desire to leave Philadelphia.
The 25-year-old three-time All-Star and two-time All-Defensive player has isolated himself from the team, including the other players like Joel Embiid.
Source: Ben Simmons has cut off communication with basically everyone in the Sixers organization. Everything is going thru his agent, Rich Paul. Ben is open to going to the GSWs though he doesn’t have much leverage in the situation.
— Jason Dumas (@JDumasReports) August 5, 2021
The Sixers seek quite the haul in exchange for the former No. 1 overall draft selection.
The Athletic’s David Aldridge reported recently that Philadelphia wants at least four future first-round picks, as well as an All-Star-level player in most trade packages.
Other teams have balked at that price tag.
One of the teams reportedly approached by the Sixers, prior to the draft, was the Golden State Warriors.
According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Sixers asked for picks No. 7 and No. 14 in this past draft.
The Warriors passed on the offer and Simmons remains in limbo.
On ESPN’s The Jump, Kendrick Perkins said Simmons would be willing to not report to training camp.
Golden State The Best Fit For Simmons
While the Warriors rebuffed the initial asking price for Simmons, looping back to that trade might be in the best interests of all parties involved.
For Simmons, joining Golden State would mean remaining in the championship hunt.
Simmons has shown a hesitancy to take a jump shot.
His pass to Thybulle in Game 7 of the Eastern semis further indicates a fear of getting fouled in late-game situations.
In Philadelphia, Simmons needed to actively contribute on the offensive end, but his skill set often limited opportunities outside of transition situations.
In Golden State, Simmons wouldn’t need to shoot, and he wouldn’t be relied upon as a primary scorer.
The Warriors feature the greatest shooting backcourt in NBA history.
Even with Draymond Green on the floor, the Warriors spacing would provide wide open lanes for Simmons to slash through, something rarely seen in Philadelphia.
Golden State head coach Steve Kerr‘s offensive system remains predicated on ball movement.
Adding another adept passer benefits all on the floor.
Should Green act as the facilitator in certain sets, Simmons could patrol the “dunker’s spot” along the baseline, looking for easy put-back or dump-off opportunities.
And all of this goes without what would be ideal fits defensively and in transition.
The Warriors would benefit here, too, unloading salary that would help with their looming luxury tax bill.
For the Sixers, any assets secured in a Simmons deal might get them closer to acquiring someone like Damian Lillard.