Ben Simmons: The New York Knicks Next Point Guard?

Ben Simmons may find himself in a New York Knick’s jersey at the start of the 2020 season…

The Philadelphia 76ers currently have two cornerstone stars in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Both players have been drafted by the Sixers and developed into the players they were destined to be on draft night. With the byproducts of Sam Hinkie’s tenure as the GM, the Sixers looked to have a decade of dominance under the leadership of Brett Brown.

Sadly, no matter how much they seemed to dominate the regular season, the duo of Embiid and Simmons could not make it passed the second round of the NBA playoffs.

As the duo’s third year of actually playing together, the team has come to a place where their talent level isn’t translating to the level of success that is to be expected of this team. While injuries played a significant role in both players’ career, Embiid easily seemed to be the more problematic of the two.

Until now…

 

Of the two players, Ben Simmons is definitely the more limited player.

As the modern, NBA continues to follow the trend of more spacing and shooting, Simmon’s inability (or refusal at this point) to shoot 3 pointers will be his chink in the armor. But with his passing abilities along with the defensive edge on so many match-ups, no one can question the validity of his All-star status.

That being said, Embiid’s impact on the game is greater on the court. And now with Simmon’s injury, the possibility of trading Simmons from the Sixers may have increased a bit. Could the New York Knicks make a run at the former number 1 overall pick?

While I’m not convinced by the reports of the front office potentially getting rid of one of the two, I’ve decided to buy-in to the rumors and come up with a plan to lure one of the Philly stars to Madison Square Garden.

Here’s some of the market trends when trading for superstars in the NBA via Basketball Reference:

Anthony Davis

July 6, 2019: As part of a 3-team trade, traded by the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers; the Los Angeles Lakers traded Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, De’Andre Hunter, Brandon Ingram, cash, a 2021 1st round draft pick, a 2023 1st round draft pick and a 2024 1st round draft pick to the New Orleans Pelicans; the Los Angeles Lakers traded Isaac Bonga, Jemerrio Jones, Moritz Wagner and a 2022 2nd round draft pick to the Washington Wizards; and the Washington Wizards traded cash to the New Orleans Pelicans. (9-30 protected, unprotected in 2022) (2023 first-round pick is right to swap with LAL.) (NOP have the option to defer 2024 first-round pick to 2025.) $1MM $1.1MM

Paul George

July 10, 2019: Traded by the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Los Angeles Clippers for Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a 2021 1st round draft pick, a 2022 1st round draft pick, a 2023 1st round draft pick, a 2023 1st round draft pick, a 2024 1st round draft pick, a 2025 1st round draft pick and a 2026 1st round draft pick. (2021 first-round pick is MIA’s unprotected pick.) (2023 first-round pick is MIA’s pick, top-14 protected.) (Right to swap with LAC.) (Right to swap with LAC.)

Russell Westbrook

July 16, 2019: Traded by the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul, a 2021 1st round draft pick, a 2024 1st round draft pick, a 2025 1st round draft pick and a 2026 1st round draft pick. (top-4 protected) (top-4 protected; if 2026 first-round pick is protected, it becomes $1MM and 2026 second-round pick) (2021 first-round pick is right to swap with HOU, top-4 protected.) (2025 first-round pick is right to swap with HOU, top-20 protected.)

D’Angelo Russell

February 6, 2020: Traded by the Golden State Warriors with Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Andrew Wiggins, a 2021 1st round draft pick and a 2021 2nd round draft pick. (top-3 protected; becomes unprotected in 2022 if does not convey in 2021)

From the recent trades of NBA “stars” it seems like there needs to be quality players plus draft picks to make a trade like this happen.

Here are a couple of options:

Option #1

PHI Sends: Ben Simmons + Shake Milton
NYK Sends: Julius Randle, Wayne Ellington, Dennis Smith Jr, 2020 1st Round Pick (via L.A. Clippers), 2020 2nd Round Pick (via Charlotte), 2021 1st Round Pick, 2021 1st Round Pick (via Dallas), 2021 1st Round Pick (via L.A. Clippers)

The Late second round pick from the 2018 draft has been getting some solid minutes off the bench. But it’s highly unlikely that Milton will be a big part of the future. Four 1st round picks plus a 2nd round pick will be sent to Philly.

There’s some shooting with Ellington plus another young talent in DSJ. Randle can also be flipped for another asset if Philly remains content with playing Horford at the 4. If Julius can play the role he played for the Pelicans on the Sixers, he can be a great addition to the team.

Option #2

PHI Sends: Ben Simmons + Furkan Korkmaz
NYK Sends: Julius Randle, Wayne Ellington, Dennis Smith Jr, 2020 1st Round Pick (via L.A. Clippers), 2020 2nd Round Pick (via Charlotte), 2021 1st Round Pick, 2021 1st Round Pick (via Dallas), 2021 1st Round Pick (via L.A. Clippers)

This is more or less the same option as the 1st one but the New York Knicks ask for Furkan Korkmaz instead of Shake Milton. He is younger and is a good shooter with some size. The New York Knicks can use more shooting at the wing. I believe getting the Sixers to include Korkmaz in the deal will depend on the negotiation.

Option #3

PHI Sends: Ben Simmons + Matisse Thybulle
NYK Sends: Julius Randle, Wayne Ellington, Dennis Smith Jr, 2020 1st Round Pick, 2020 1st Round Pick (via L.A. Clippers), 2020 2nd Round Pick (via Charlotte), 2021 1st Round Pick, 2021 1st Round Pick (via Dallas), 2021 1st Round Pick (via L.A. Clippers)

We replace the 2nd player with Matisse Thybulle. Thybulle has shown that he can play great defense on top of shooting the 3. There’s potential that he can grow into a Robert Covington kind of player, so he comes at a price. The New York Knicks will include their own 2020 1st Round Pick in this trade to satisfy the loss of a great defensive rookie.

Hardly anyone saw the Porzingis trade coming and almost everyone shut it down when it was rumored.

Next: Drafting LaMelo Ball Would Add To New York Knicks Dysfunction

“Why would anyone trade a franchise player even if he’s injured?” I am not saying that Ben Simmons will be in a New York Knicks jersey next season. But if he finds himself on a different team, it would not surprise me one bit. Hopefully, Simmons will find himself in Madison Square Garden next season.

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