The Ben Simmons era in Philadelphia appears to be over. Simmons told the 76ers he wants to be traded and is prepared to sit out of training camp, the Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey reported Tuesday.
And it appears he has his eyes on the Western Conference.
“Think about three months ago when the Sixers are willing to give up Ben Simmons. You are like, ‘Let’s see what we have to do to get him,’ " a Western Conference executive said to Pompey. “Now, the difference is Ben Simmons says he refuses to play for the Sixers. He wants to go to three California teams.
"There’s so much bad blood between him and the team.”
California has four NBA teams: The Warriors, Kings, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. While the Kings could make a competitive offer for Simmons, it appears likely the three teams at the top of Simmons' preferred list are the Warriors, Lakers and Clippers.
This shouldn't come as a surprise, as Simmons has plenty of West Coast connections and reasons of wanting to join any of the three contenders. Simmons recently bought a $17.5 million home in LA, he shares the same agent as Lakers teammates LeBron James and Anthony Davis -- who just so hapens to also be Draymond Green's agent, and the Clippers also are a dangerous team with Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and a hanful of young talent.
Then there's the Warriors.
Golden State has been connected to Simmons for quite some time now. He also reportedly is "open" to a trade to the Warriors. Before the NBA draft, general manager Daryl Morey reportedy was asking for king's ransom that the Warriors weren't willing to give up in a Simmons trade. Simmons also still has $147 million remaining on his four-year contract.
Here comes the question regarding Simmons' fit on the Warriors. Simmons is a non-threat from 3-point range, acts scared to shoot at times and is a detriment to the team at the free throw line. Can that work in the same offense as Green? It sure can in the same offense as Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.
Sure, there are reasons to question Simmons' fit. No doubt about it. But the name of the game is talent, and there's no denying how much Simmons has at his fingertips. He's 25 years old, one of the best defenders in all of basketball, one of the game's great athletes and has top basketball IQ while standing at 6-foot-11.
Curry and Thompson sharing the floor with the passing ability and screen possibilities of Green and Simmons would be a sight to behold. Question it all you want, but opposing teams would be terrified.
If the stars align with Simmons wanting to be a Warrior, general manager Bob Myers and the rest of his front office has to do what it takes to maximize the title window of this championship core.