Is Ben Simmons a good fit for the Boston Celtics?
That's up for debate, but it sounds like the Philadelphia 76ers star is at least open to playing for the Celtics. From The Boston Globe's Gary Washburn on Monday night:
"Would Simmons be interested in coming to Boston? Yes, according to a league source."
The Celtics have reached out to the Sixers about a potential Simmons trade, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Monday. A league source of the Boston Herald's Mark Murphy later refuted that report, and Philly reportedly is seeking Jaylen Brown in return for Simmons, which might be a deal-breaker for Boston. So, it doesn't sound like a trade is happening anytime soon.
But a blockbuster isn't necessarily off the table, either. Celtics head coach Ime Udoka worked with Simmons during the 2019-20 season as an assistant in Philly, so perhaps he'd lobby to add the polarizing guard, who held out from the Sixers this offseason and currently is away from the club due to mental health reasons.
And while there are plenty of reasons to scoff at a Simmons-for-Brown swap based on the recent performance (or lack thereof) of both players, Simmons is still a very talented 25-year-old with four years remaining on his contract.
"Simmons was on that path to being a franchise-type player," NBC Sports Boston's John Tomase told Celtics Insider Chris Forsberg on the latest Celtics Talk podcast. "... Simmons had it in him to be that legit No. 1 guy, even with the inconsistent shooting. Because he’s such a physical marvel and the way he sees the floor and the size, the defense. There are things that he does that really no other player in the NBA does."
Tomase added he still wouldn't give up Brown -- who's averaging career highs in several offensive categories after making his first All-Star team last season -- in a deal for Simmons. But if Philly drops its asking price over the next few months and Boston can add Simmons without breaking up Brown and Jayson Tatum, then it might be worth Brad Stevens picking up the phone.