The Philadelphia 76ers are in the midst of a confusing period within the organization. The process has come full circle, but it has still not generated a championship.
In fact, they have not gotten out of the second round. Next season, they would still for sure be contenders. However, they have a conundrum on their hands. That conundrum is Ben Simmons.
Can Ben Simmons Be Fixed?
The potential that Ben Simmons possesses is extraordinary. He is 6’10’’ with great playmaking skills while being one of the best perimeter defenders in the entire league. He has great accolades for someone who is only 25 years old.
However, his playoff performances have the Sixers thinking that it is time to move on. Their second-round series against the Atlanta Hawks was the potential final straw for Sixers fans and the organization themselves. The public saw Simmons refuse to shoot in the biggest moments, including the game 7 dunk that he passed up.
This was not the first instance of Simmons being hesitant in the postseason either. There was his one-point performance against the Boston Celtics in 2018. Then there was the entire Toronto Raptors series in 2019.
We have seen multiple videos of Simmons shooting threes and making them with ease. There is only one problem with that; he shows the basketball community these types of videos every summer. The Sixers fans have been begging him to shoot the ball; not to even make it.
He is an awful free throw shooter and refuses to shoot any open jump shots in a game. However, in the open gyms, he is not afraid to shoot from long range. This leads a lot of us to believe it is simply a mental hurdle he cannot seem to get past.
Simmons does not do himself any favors with his attitude, however. After the Sixers were upset by the Hawks, he was asked about his series. He believed he played well due to his defense on Trae Young.
There have been previous interviews where he claims that he is who he is. The attitude that he gives off is someone that does not care that much. Granted, his defense is phenomenal, which is all about effort. The issue is that he has not gotten better on offense in five years now.
We get promises of a new and improved Ben Simmons, but it never comes. The question is not if he can be fixed or not. It should be if he wants to be fixed or not.
To Trade or Not to Trade
Rumors have been swirling all offseason of the Sixers potentially moving on from Simmons. The Sixers front office has made it clear that trade for Simmons has to include either another star player or a huge haul.
There have been no close deals, despite him being on the trade block since May. The Sixers want to make the perfect trade, which makes sense knowing they have Daryl Morey in their front office. He is known for being a master when it comes to trades from his time with the Houston Rockets.
This might not be the time to wait for the perfect deal. There have been several rumors of the Sixers wanting Damian Lillard, but the Portland Trail Blazers still want to try and win with their superstar. It is looking like that if Lillard was to be traded, it will be next offseason. Can the Sixers wait that long?
There have been other teams that want to acquire Simmons, but the Sixers do not love the trade packages. The Indiana Pacers were willing to move Malcolm Brogdon and a few other pieces, but the Sixers refused. The San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors were both interested, but nothing came to fruition.
Lastly, there were rumors of the Golden State Warriors contemplating a Simmons trade. The Sixers have now made it clear they want Lillard but might have to wait. However, it is not time to wait for a superstar trade that might not happen. Joel Embiid and Doc Rivers already made it clear after the Hawks series that they don’t want him back; regardless of what the organization keeps saying.
Another playoff performance like the one we just saw can severely plummet his stock. The Sixers need to strike soon before it is too late.