Trading Ben Simmons is ridiculous

Dave Uram
November 11, 2019 - 12:49 pm
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Would you trade Giannis Antetokounmpo before his prime? What about Steph Curry or Damian Lillard? How about James Harden? 

Oh, wait. A team did trade Harden before his prime. How did that work out for them? 

For some reason, nine games into this 6-3 Sixers season, which included a difficult west coach trip—half of which didn’t have Joel Embiid—there’s conversation floating around sports talk about dealing Ben Simmons.

What? 

I know it’s sometimes fun to mix a fantasy-sports type world in our daily conversation, but this one makes absolutely no sense.

While Simmons, without question, needs to add a jump shot to his in-game repertoire as soon as possible, this glaring flaw isn’t a reason to move on from him, especially after the financial commitment he agreed upon this past off-season.  

Too Talented

Simmons may lack a jumper, but he’s still a transcendent, unique 23-year-old talent whose ceiling isn’t close to being reached. He’s 6-foot-10 and can dribble, pass, defense, dunk and sprint with the best of them. Imagine if he starts shooting 15-footers regularly. 

The counter to that is shooting jump shots is a basic fundamental that should’ve been a part of his game as a kid. I agree. However, Simmons is finally at the point where he admits it’s a weakness. Coming to grips with a flaw is step one to fixing the flaw. 

Pressing The Panic Button Already? 

Are people seriously panicking about the 76ers? Is it overreaction November? 

The first of their three losses—the one in Phoenix—was directly a result of Simmons not shooting based on the way Aron Baynes defended him. however, if Embiid wasn’t suspended for this game, a five-point loss, the Sixers would’ve won. If Embiid wasn’t off a week from playing games, he would’ve been in better condition against Utah, thus that probably would’ve been a win. And, in all likelihood, they wouldn’t have collapsed against Denver.

I know—excuses, excuses. Yes, they’re excuses, but two-three losses in a row aren’t reasons to make drastic changes.  

Team Chemistry

One of the issues with the 2018-19 76ers was there were three different versions of them, as a result of the Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris trades. While the Sixers acquired All-Star caliber talent in Butler and Harris, it was challenging for Brett Brown to build chemistry with three different rosters. Moving on from Simmons, presumably at some point this season, would closely replicate the same situation as last year.

You want to talk about fit and how it relates to Simmons and Embiid? If Simmons starts shooting jumpers, him and Embiid will “fit” just fine.  

To Sum Things Up

Simmons needs to be held accountable for not keeping defenses honest and taking at least mid-range jumpers. It can’t be overlooked or deemed insignificant because of his many other talents. 

But, my goodness, would you trade Bryce Harper because his batting average wasn’t anything special his first season in Philadelphia? Would you trade Carson Wentz because he hasn’t consistently exhibited the MVP-like play he had in 2017? 

Trading Ben Simmons in his third NBA season before he’s 24-years-old is so silly, it prompted me to write this ridiculous column on a Monday morning. I apologize if I wasted your time. I certainly did mine.​