Though the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey recently reported that trade discussions pertaining to Ben Simmons between the Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers were extremely brief and unproductive due to Philly’s unrealistic asking price, it’s worth considering exactly how Simmons would fit in Golden State should a deal somehow come to pass.
The Warriors are, after all, one of the “California teams” that Simmons reportedly prefers. Whether he’s the caliber of player that has the luxury of listing his preferences, especially when considering in the fact that he’s under contract until 2025, is debatable. Regardless, the Warriors do have quite a few desirable assets under their belt that Sixers GM Daryl Morey clearly wants, and Simmons is a young, versatile star that can be effective in the right situation. If the two sides do reach an agreement, how would Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr attempt to maximize Simmons’ talent?
In order to imagine Simmons as a Warrior, we first need to envision who would be dealt in order to get him. Pompey reported that Morey called up Warriors GM Bob Meyers and asked for James Wiseman (no. 2 overall pick in the 2020 draft), Jonathan Kuminga (no. 7 overall pick in the 2021 draft), Moses Moody (no. 14 overall pick in the 2021 draft) and two future first round picks, along with Andrew Wiggins to make the salaries match. Meyers gave a quick ‘no, thank you’ to that offer, but there is the framework of a more reasonable deal somewhere in there. The Athletic’s Anthony Slader wrote recently that Meyers doesn’t want to give up Wiseman or Kuminga, so let’s throw in Moody for sure since he wasn’t listed. Despite Meyers’ wishes, if a deal does somehow happen, it makes sense that Wiseman would be in the trade simply because he’d clash with Simmons’ skillset the most. Until he develops a consistent three-point shot, he, Simmons and Draymond Green would reck the Warriors’ floor-spacing if all three were starting. Let’s make it one first round pick instead of two, make it a near-future pick (say 2022) and put a lottery protection on it to make it more palatable for Meyers. Of course, Wiggins would still have to be in the deal for the money to match. Wiseman, Moody, Wiggins and a protected 2022 first-rounder seems like a reasonable deal for both sides.