Should the Warriors trade for Ben Simmons?
It's very possible that the No. 1 overall pick from the 2016 draft has played his final game in a Philadelphia 76ers uniform.
So what would a potential deal look like between Golden State -- who possesses the rights to the No. 7 and No. 14 overall picks in the 2021 draft -- and Philly?
The Ringer's Ryen Russillo and Kevin O'Connor analyzed one hypothetical on the latest episode of The Ryen Russillo Podcast.
Russillo: "What do you think of the package of seven, 14 and [Andrew] Wiggins for Simmons? My first reservation when I thought about it was, 'Could you really have Draymond [Green] and Simmons play together?'
"Klay [Thompson] and Steph [Curry] -- you'd need some kind of third scorer that you felt really good about. The only way I could argue it is if you'd feel like, 'Hey, we got off Wiggins' contract. Ben's contract is rough, but it might be the perfect transition of a year with him and Draymond together.
And then maybe you'd see Draymond move a little later on and now Ben Simmons is your switching four-five and it doesn't really matter that he doesn't really hurt you offensively as far as spacing the floor.' That's where it might make sense. But with Draymond and Simmons on the floor together closing playoff games -- that's where it scares me."
O'Connor: "I think you nailed it there. If the plan in terms of fit is a 3-5 year plan and at some point you're moving Draymond -- perfect. It makes total sense. But right now -- I don't love the idea of how teams are gonna defend that. I would worry significantly about the lack of spacing that you would have."
There is a lot to dissect here.
First, yours truly very much doubts that the Warriors would acquire Simmons with the mindset of him being the Draymond replacement in the not-so-distant future. That seems highly unlikely.
Also, does the fact that both players are represented by Rich Paul of Klutch Sports complicate things?
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Second, while some people would sign off on this transaction, it's safe to assume that others -- and perhaps some within the Warriors -- would believe Golden State is giving up too much for Simmons.
Andrew Wiggins just completed his best all-around season, shooting a career-high 47.7 percent overall and a career-best 38 percent from deep. The 26-year-old also showed he's capable of being a terrific defender who can make life difficult on the best wing scorers in the league.
Furthermore, Wiggins is under contract only for two more seasons at $31.6 million and $33.6 million respectively. Is that really such a bad contract at this point? The answer is no.
And then there are the two lottery picks, which could turn into two terrific young players who would be under team control for a long time.
As for Simmons, it would be foolish to give up on him and/or completely write him off. The soon-to-be 25-year-old clearly needs to address some things and regain his confidence offensively. But he is an elite defender (he finished runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year this season) and would wreak havoc on that end of the floor alongside Draymond.
Ultimately, if the 76ers offered this trade to the Warriors, Bob Myers and the rest of the front office would have a whole lot to think about.
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