Former NBA All-Star Ben Simmons has not played a minute in a Brooklyn Nets uniform. Surely they couldn’t trade him. That has to be some form of malpractice, right?
Wrong. There’s nothing in the rule book that states that just because you acquire a player, you’re obliged to play him. The Nets can absolutely explore Ben Simmons trade possibilities this summer.
They may not love the offers they get. At this point in his career, it’s hard to imagine that Simmons would command a hefty price in the open market. Teams are going to need to see that he can still play before even entertaining working his unique brand of basketball into their system.
Still, nothing is impossible. For all of his warts, it’s worth remembering that Simmons is a 6’10 point guard with elite floor vision. He’s also one of the best defenders in the NBA.
Some team may be willing to bet that he’ll return to regular NBA action without skipping a beat.
Here are three trades the Nets ought to entertain for the controversial star this summer.
Brooklyn Nets Receive: C Clint Capela, F Danilo Gallinari, 2022 First-Round Pick (ATL), 2024 First-Round Pick (ATL)
Atlanta Hawks Receive: G/F Ben Simmons
Simmons-to-Atlanta proposals have been floating around since before the Trade Deadline. Allegedly, the Hawks were one of the teams that were most aggressive in pursuing the former number one pick.
We see no reason to assume their interest has waned. The same questions about his availability that exist now persisted then. If the Hawks were interested, they should still be.
There is some intuitiveness in the fit between Simmons and Trae Young for the Hawks. They mask each other’s flaws. Young is one of the worst defensive players in the NBA: Simmons is one of the best.