I’m thinking things may be taking a turn for Ben Simmons and the Sixers.
Simmons reported to Wells Fargo Center on Monday and took a COVID test. He also passed a physical and held a brief meeting with the Sixers’ front office on Tuesday. So, there’s a good chance we’ll see him in a Sixers uniform this season. But for how long?
Simmons took drastic measures to avoid returning to Philly, but with his potential return, he can improve his trade value. Then, he could land with a team he desires.
With that said, here are three teams that could land Ben Simmons.
1.) Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers are in a predicament. They are a playoff-bound team that’s made the playoffs since 2013. But the closest they’ve come to the Finals was the 2019 Western Conference Finals. The Blazers faced the Warriors and were swept as the Warriors went on to win another championship.
The Blazers are talented and have one of the league’s brightest stars in Damian Lillard. But will he stay? Lillard wants to stay loyal to the Blazers, but he wants to win as well. And as it stands, Lillard can’t win with the Blazers. So, Portland can bring in help or trade their star in exchange for another (young) star. Simmons fits the bill.
Simmons needs a change of scenery, and Portland may be the ideal destination.
2.) Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves are a rebuilding team in search of their identity. They’re consistently one of the worst teams in the West and a lottery team finding pieces to build their roster. This time, they can acquire a piece through a trade.
Simmons is only 25 years old. This means he is young enough to build around and young enough to improve his game. This is a tremendous benefit for the T-Wolves and something they should consider going into trade talks.
The Timberwolves are on the right path, as they have an exciting young player in Anthony Edwards. Edwards was the first pick of the 2020 draft. He is an exceptional athlete that loves to compete. He was also one of the finalists for the 2021 Rookie of the Year award.
Edwards and Simmons could be a nice pairing that could go along with vets like Karl Anthony-Towns and D’Angelo Russell (if they aren’t involved in trades). So while the Minnesota Timberwolves aren’t a contender, they’d be headed in the right direction.
3.) Toronto Raptors
Since the departure of Kawhi Leonard in 2019, the Raptors have been fighting to remain a playoff-bound team. However, Toronto missed the playoffs last season after going 27-45 in the regular season.
The Raptors lost one of their best players (and a veteran) in Kyle Lowry this summer, and it’s clear a rebuild is in order. Enter Ben Simmons.
Toronto has young talent like Scottie Barnes, Gary Trent Jr., and others, but Simmons could be that missing piece. He can also make them a defensive threat. Simmons is a great defender and was a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year last season. Putting him around Barnes (another good defender) and Pascal Siakam could give opposing teams headaches.
Toronto is another possibility and, quite frankly, could be one of Simmons’s best options.
The NBA season is coming, and while Ben Simmons is with the Sixers, for now, only time will tell for how long.
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