It’s no secret that the Sixers and maximum-salaried All-Star lead ball handler Ben Simmons appear destined for a divorce via trade. Evan Sidery of Basketball News posits that the pending split could work out well on both sides of the deal.
Simmons, 25, is a three-time All-Star and an All-Defensive Team staple. His offensive limitations have oftentimes confounded his teammates, coaches and fans in Philadelphia. Sidery notes that, though Simmons may have been initially projected as a Magic Johnson-esque oversized point guard, he now appears destined to become more of a Draymond Green type, a pass-first point forward who can defend anybody.
Sidery notes that the Sixers would benefit from moving on from Simmons, too, should they acquire a new guard with more scoring punch in a trade. Such a player could help create spacing against All-NBA Philadelphia center Joel Embiid.
There’s more out of the Eastern Conference:
- Despite trading away an intriguing backcourt talent in Devonte’ Graham, the Hornets ultimately improved their depth this offseason around incumbent leaders Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier and LaMelo Ball, writes Zach Harper of The Athletic. The club’s new regular rotation additions James Bouknight, Kai Jones, Kelly Oubre, Mason Plumlee, and Ish Smith all appear poised to know their roles for a team hoping to qualify for the Eastern Conference playoffs in 2022.
- The Pistons agreed to a deal to accept veteran center DeAndre Jordan and four future second-round draft picks from the Nets in exchange for Sekou Doumbouya, a promising young power forward, and journeyman veteran reserve center Jahlil Okafor. Spencer Davies of Basketball News has mixed feelings about Detroit being so quick to move on from Doubouya, the No. 15 pick in the 2019 draft. Davies opines that the 6’8″ forward has an intriguing ceiling, and could have carved out a rotation slot on a still-rebuilding Detroit club.
- On the Nets side of the equation, the club’s young new versatile forward Sekou Doumbouya could offer promise as a future rotation player, writes Chris Milholen of Nets Daily. The Jordan deal also allowed Brooklyn to save $47MM in luxury tax expenses. Across the final nine games of his 2020/21 NBA season with the Pistons, Doumbouya averaged 10.7 PPG and 4.8 RPG, in 27.0 MPG.