At one point, “the Process” was highlighted by Joel Embiid who fell to the Sixers with the third overall pick, and the future superstar with comparisons to LeBron James, Ben Simmons who was selected with the first overall pick. After missing his first year, Simmons went on to win the Rookie of the Year award in his first official season but for the last 5 years, so many people had said that the duo of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons would not work.
Those conversations seemed to have disappeared this season as the Sixers went on to the first seed in the Eastern Conference and looked to have an easy path to the finals.
As it turns out, the Sixers did not have an easy path to the finals and lost to the fifth seed Atlanta Hawks in the second round, yet again.
After not having a full off-season in charge, Daryl Morey will look to upgrade the team and make this his team. Once the Sixers were eliminated, rumors started to swirl that the Sixers would look to part ways with Simmons in a trade after disappearing offensively yet again in the playoffs.
Now, over a week after the Sixers have been eliminated, those rumors have died down a little bit and reports seemed to pour water over the possibility of Ben Simmons being traded this off-season.
The Sixers should not sell Ben Simmons for pennies on the dollar. If Simmons’ value is so low as some hypothetical trade packages say he is, then the Sixers should hold onto him.
Ben Simmons should not be mentioned in the same conversation as Buddy Hield or CJ McCollum.
Simmons had an awful series against the Hawks and his inability to score is extremely concerning. Both of those things are true, but he still has tremendous value to the team, just not as the second option on offense.
The 5 year $177M contract Ben received in 2019 was bad, there is no doubt about that. The Sixers paid Simmons based on what he could become, not what he was which is rarely a good strategy.
What has plagued the Sixers, especially in the playoffs, is Ben at point guard. In today’s NBA a team needs their starting point guard to be able to consistently score and Simmons can not do that at this point in his career.
If Ben Simmons is moved to more of a power forward position and less of a point guard, it will still allow him to do what he does well. Yes, he will be extremely overpaid, but he would be regardless of where he plays. We know what the team can be with Ben at point guard, so why not try him somewhere else?
If the Sixers can’t swing Ben Simmons in a trade for someone like Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal which is very unlikely, then they should hold onto him.
Players with Simmons’ ability do not grow on trees, and he shouldn’t be taken for granted. Simmons is 24 years old and for all the Sixers have invested into him, he should have a little more of a leash than what he is currently allotted.
It may not be a fan-favorite idea, but the best thing for the Sixers right now is to hold onto Ben Simmons.
Photo via Steven M. Falk Philadelphia Inquirer