Fans of Ben Simmlons, it’s time for the Philadelphia 76ers to consider swapping the All-Star for Jamels Harden.
I wrote about how it would cost the Sixers a lot, I explained what hypothetical Harden trade not involving Simmons would seem, and I even outlined a strong argument against exchanging Simmons for Harden as a whole. Well, all of that was before the start of this season and based on what has been seen so far, I have come to the conclusion that my position needs to change on that front.
It should be noted that I thought so well before Harden’s most recent comments on rockets. However, these comments can help Philly negotiate any potential deal to land the All-NBA shooting guard.
Why the Sixers should now consider Simmons for Harden
More of The Sixer Sense
One of the strongest components of Harden’s anti-Simmons business is that Ben has a big advantage. Yes, he has the physical gifts to become the next LeBron James, however, as I wrote in the past, Simmons is slowly becoming more like Draymond Green than LeBron.
That in itself is not bad, but he cannot be the second best player on a team and that team vying for a title. This is exactly what happened with Tobias Harris’ huge contract and now the Sixers cannot add a second legitimate violin for Joel Embiid. Being the third midfielder of a champion team is the best role for Simmons, due to his lack of scoring aggression and his playing ability.
This was even more evident this year. Simmons was always a first pass player, but this season he saw a big regression in attack. He has an average of 12.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.1 blocks, 3.8 turnovers and 3.4 fouls, while converting 51.6 percent of the field, 50.0 percent in two attempts of 3 points in the year and 60.4 percent of the line fault.
His points, assists and percentage of goals are down in his career, while his fouls and twists are up in his career. This is not going in the right direction and shows a lack of aggression in the attack that the team desperately needs. Especially because of the Outbreak of covid-19 on the team.
Some would argue that the shortened off-season and a new head coach to learn can be attributed to these problems, there is another to consider.
I wrote in the past which is a great possibility that Simmons’s left knee is starting to become a consistent problem. If that becomes true, then Simmons can join a long list of players who never reach their potential due to an injury. If the front office and the medical team believe that this is a possibility, then switching it now, while it has a good value in helping to get a player like Harden, would be a good choice.
Do you want your voice to be heard? Join the The Sixer Sense team!
Another thing for the 76er consider is the potential by Tyrese Maxey. The novice guard showed legitimate flashes of talent, while the team’s squad was devastated by COVID-19. In three games as a starter, he averaged 23.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.7 spins, while shooting 49.2 percent from the ground and 26.7 percent from the line of 3 points.
It should be noted that Maxey’s 39 point game against the Denver Nuggets really helped bring those statistics up, however, Maxey is showing potential. He still needs to continue to grow in defense and as a 3-point shooter, but he has all the tools.
Maxey will probably never become one of the top 25 players like Simmons, but having him in place if the Sixers leave Simmons for Harden still puts Philly in a good place for the future.
Simmons is not trending in the right direction in terms of his development and how he fits alongside the other Philadelphia 76ers star in Joel Embiid. There may also be some concerns about your long-term health. Simmons fans may have to accept that this may be the peak of Simmons’ skills and abilities and, unless he starts showing something different soon, it’s time to consider switching to Harden.