In the aftermath of the Philadelphia 76ers' collapse against the Atlanta Hawks in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals last night, the first question I asked myself is how much longer is Ben Simmons under contract for, because the guy is about as helpful to the team in the fourth quarter as a pile of rocks. The answer, I discovered, was staggering -- four years and over $140 million.
It's the kind of contract many consider untradeable. He's the 12th highest-paid player in the NBA based on average salary but about the 120th person you'd select when rolling out a lineup in crunch time. Yet, there's always a few teams willing to absorb a terrible contract banking on the idea that Simmons, still only 24, might one day learn how to shoot a free throw and grow as an offensive player. He is, after all, an All-Defensive player, which Draymond Green has proven can be a valuable attribute as long as Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are your teammates.
With that in mind, I decided to think of teams crazy enough to take on Simmons and his abomination of a contract. Here they are.
Portland Trail Blazers
If Dame Lillard does indeed want out of Portland, as rumors have speculated, the 76ers should jump all over the opportunity to acquire him. He's a much better fit alongside Joel Embiid and can be the closer the 76ers so clearly lack.
From Portland's standpoint, they're going to want a lot more than just Simmons in return for Lillard. Perhaps it's Tobias Harris or maybe picks, but those picks won't be very valuable with Lillard and Embiid paired together.