The Warriors are on the hunt for another star this offseason, hoping to find a way to add elite talent to the championship core of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
Ben Simmons appears to be on his way out of Philadelphia after gas-canning himself in the 76ers' Eastern Conference semifinals loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Whispers of the Warriors' interest in acquiring the 24-year-old already have started, and while Simmons and the Warriors aren't exactly a perfect fit, it could work.
Regardless, let's take a brief look at how the Warriors might construct a deal to bring Simmons to the Bay.
Let's start with the fact that the Warriors are way over the salary cap limit, so the only way to acquire Simmons via trade is to send out enough money to match Simmons' contract. Simmons is set to earn $33 million next season, and that number goes up each of the remaining three years of his contract, topping out at 40.3 million for the 2024-25 season.
So, any potential Warriors deal would start with Andrew Wiggins, who is set to make $31.5 million next season.
While Wiggins did have a career rebirth during his first full season in Golden State, the 76ers would obviously not make a straight swap. That's where the Warriors' draft capital comes in.
Golden State owns the rights to two lottery picks in the 2021 NBA Draft -- No. 7 and No. 14 -- and one can reasonably assume the 76ers would want the higher pick for a player of Simmons' caliber.
There is a chance that Wiggins and the No. 7 pick are enough to get the deal done, perhaps the 76ers ask for a future pick to top it off. The Warriors are planning to contend for titles, so that shouldn't be a huge blow. Either way, the framework could look like that.
The 76ers could also ask for No. 7 and No. 14 along with Wiggins for Simmons. Would that be too pricy for the Warriors? Perhaps.
As long as we're in speculation land, let's try and extend the deal a bit further.
The Warriors' two lottery picks have cap numbers totaling around $9.1 million in their first season.
Could the Warriors construct a deal that sees them make both picks for the 76ers, wait the 30 days until after the contract is signed and then include those two players' salaries along with Wiggins and a future pick in a deal that lands them Simmons and Seth Curry? Curry makes $8.2 million, so that math works, but given how important he was to the 76ers' offense this past season it's unlikely they will be willing to part with him.
But it's fun to think about Steph and Seth bombing away at Chase Center, right?
Back to reality now.
Simmons is a 24-year-old All-Star-caliber player, so despite his putrid showing in the playoffs, the price will remain high to acquire him.
Let's put the potential final package at:
Warriors get: Ben Simmons
76ers get: Andrew Wiggins, No. 7 and No. 14 overall picks in 2021 NBA Draft
Simmons certainly has his limitations, but he is also far from a finished player and could give the Warriors an interesting dimension as a primary ball-handler and initiator who allows Curry to hunt off-ball.
In the end, something tells me the Warriors are looking for something different than what Simmons can provide.
But the Simmons-Warriors noise will only get louder until he finally finds a new home.