Should The New York Knicks trade for Ben Simmons?

RJ Barrett, NY Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
RJ Barrett, NY Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /
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NY Knicks
Ben Simmons, NY Knicks. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

NY Knicks: Ben Simmons’ Strengths And Weaknesses

In order to understand how any player including Ben Simmons would fit properly with the Knicks, we need to address the Knicks’ weaknesses.

The Knicks could see Derrick Rose return and will of course be expecting Immanuel Quickley to still be here come next season, but the team could definitely still use an upgrade at point guard. Between the lack of star power at the position and on the team period, and a lack of playmaking outside of Rose, Julius Randle, and RJ Barrett, Simmons sounds like an easy plug-in option.

Ben Simmons is one of the elite playmakers in the NBA. His ability to create for others and assume a heavy portion of the ball handling for an offense would take a ton of pressure off of the Knicks guards and more importantly Randle.

Despite the Game 7 loss on Sunday night, Simmons was able to neutralize the Hawks Trae Young, something the Knicks struggled mightily with in the first round. Young finished with a paltry 5-23 performance in which he only made 2 of 11 three-point attempts. Simmons was the primary defender on Young for most of that game, so while Simmons certainly deserves some blame for the Game 7 loss and the series loss, Simmons did contribute in a big way the keep the game competitive. Being able to lockdown a player as lethal as Young is not something to be ignored. Simmons is also elite on defense, both on the perimeter and in the paint. The Knicks have an elite defense but are without many ball stoppers.

In these ways, Simmons is sort of like a bigger Lonzo Ball. Both Simmons and Ball are large point guards that can run an offense and provide great defense. Both could have potentially made a world of difference for NY against Atlanta in the quarterfinals.

However, for all of the boxes that Simmons checks off for the Knicks, the biggest flaws in his game could still prove fatal for NY even in that new environment. The Knicks still need shooting despite finishing among the league’s best in 3P%. The biggest knock on Simmons is his complete inability and or willingness to shoot. He also doesn’t score often. His nonexistent aggressiveness to score wouldn’t help the Knicks, one of the league’s lowest-scoring teams. Just as the last few years have proven, eventually these red flags will catch up to Simmons’ team and cause postseason heartbreak unless he finally breaks his current player mold.