Recent rumors suggest that the San Antonio Spurs could trade for Ben Simmons. Sportsbook odds place the possibility at +400, right behind the Washington Wizards (+300) or the Portland Trailblazers (+200) acquiring him. Is Ben Simmons the right fit for the Spurs, and who might the Spurs trade for him? Let’s take a closer look, and talk about what this possible trade could mean for the team’s future.
The San Antonio Spurs Could Trade for Ben Simmons, But Should They?
Sports Illustrated mentions that the Spurs are among a number of teams that might take on Simmons, the others being the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Indiana Pacers, the Chicago Bulls and the Golden State Warriors. Any one of these teams could potentially benefit by picking him up.
A lot of people have mentioned the Spurs might trade off Dejounte Murray or Derrick White, but SI suggests DeMar DeRozan and Lonnie Walker IV head to the 76ers, explaining, “Bringing in Simmons to replace DeRozan makes San Antonio much younger and adds an elite defender to a roster with rangy wings like Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell.” As for Walker, “He cut out a role as a part-time starter in San Antonio, and could provide depth and shooting for the 76ers.”
While that reasoning seems pretty solid, there are also reasons to feel uneasy about Simmons. We all remember what happened in the Game 7 this year against the Atlanta Hawks. The bookies were heavily backing the Sixers, but it was the Hawks who beat them with a final score of 103-96, giving them a spot in the conference finals.
To stay that Sixers fans were crushed would be an understatement. And it was Simmons who ended up taking most of the flak. He struggled to score, continuing a trend that had begun earlier in the series. He has openly admitted to his difficulties. And while he has had a harder time than usual lately, there is no denying that shooting has never been his strong suit.
That being said, Simmons is generally pretty solid on defense—and is a well-rounded player overall. KSAT points out, “There’s no doubt Simmons is a bit of broken player right now. His struggles seem to be in his head more than anything. It happens to pro-athletes, but it’s hard to overlook the fact he is still one of the most complete players in the game.” So, there is a lot to think about there.
San Antonio Spurs Trade for Ben Simmons: My Take
I admit to feeling the same hesitation as a lot of other people with respect to Simmons. Maybe a better term might be frustration. Each season, I expect to see major improvements in shooting, but he never makes the strides I hope for.
But there is something to be said with respect to the “mental” aspect of his challenges. It is not necessarily that Simmons is not capable of scoring more consistently–his head just is not in the right place. And a team like the Spurs could be just what he needs to get his mental game in order.
And aside from the shooting issues, Simmons is a strong player. It is important to keep the loss against the Hawks in perspective, and his part in it. Taking a look at his career as a whole, he could bring some of the strong defensive capabilities we need. He may never become an amazing shooter, but with the right coaching, he should be able to at least improve his offensive play to the point where it won’t hold us back.