Let’s it back to Ben Simmons rumors. We haven’t had any good ones in some time.
However, here comes Marc Stein:
As I indeed reported in my This Week In Basketball column expertly aggregated below, Atlanta has emerged as suitor to monitor for Philadelphia's Ben Simmons.
Lots more trade scuttle in the piece here: https://t.co/90TI6eGMN3
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 7, 2022
Now THIS is interesting. Atlanta as a suitor? I could seriously see Ben fitting in down there as do-it-all type of guy, but it’s funky because Trae Young is such a high usage player. We’re talking top five usage rate in the NBA as a primary ball handler. Ben would have to take a back seat on the offensive end, which I’m sure he’s fine with, but he also would not be the “point guard” unless Atlanta has some super-secret plan in place.
The Hawks have some really solid players, but no top-25 superstar types of guys outside of Trae. John Collins just began a five-year deal that pays him about $25 million per. Then there’s a handful of guys still on rookie deals, like Kevin Huerter, Cam Reddish, and De’Andre Hunter. Bogdan Bogdanovic makes $18 million and is only 29 years old. You’re not going to get a superstar back for Ben, but pair two of those guys together and/or make a corresponding move (maybe sacrifice picks to move Tobias Harris), and you’re talking about an interesting reconfiguration centered around Joel Embiid.
A few months ago, you would have written off any thought of a wing or pure shooter coming back as the centerpiece in a Simmons deal, but with Tyrese Maxey’s emergence, it could be palatable. You could theoretically go out and get a small forward and then run a Maxey/Curry/that guy/Harris/Embiid unit, or you could stick to the original plan and try to bring back a primary ball handler and trusted perimeter creator.
Ben Simmons to the Hawks on a good offer? It’s an idea that’s hard to PASS UP. Get it? Pass up? Anyway…