Breaking Down the Potential of a Ben Simmons for D’Angelo Russell Tradeby John Devereaux January 16, 2020 0 comments
It is safe to say that the Golden State Warriors will not be participating in this year’s playoffs as they have lost two star players in Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry for most of the season due to injuries.
But what the team can do is field offers for their players that are healthy and have trade value. A recent rumor that has taken over social media is that the team will be looking into offers for 23-year-old guard D’Angelo Russell.
One of the trade rumors that has fans of the NBA in an uproar is the rumor that Russell would be traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for point guard Ben Simmons. There have been multiple reports that the 76ers have been slowly losing faith that Simmons, who lacks an offensive game, and Joel Embiid, who has a hard time staying healthy, could be the core factor to a championship-caliber team. With that said, these reports have been becoming more and more imminent within the past week, as the 76ers could be answering calls for the young 6-foot-11 Simmons.
— Warriors Nation (@WarriorNationCP) January 16, 2020
The 76ers’ main focus is that they need a scoring guard that can also distribute the ball. Although Simmons is a great passer and is averaging 8.4 assists per game, his shooting and spacing off the ball is hindering the team. A trade for D’Angelo Russell would result in a quick fix to that problem as Russell is already an improvement in scoring to Simmons. Russell is a 35 percent shooter from deep and can play with the ball in his hands and off the ball. Russell is also a combo guard that can spread the floor and does not need the ball in his hands to succeed. Russell is currently averaging 23.3 points, six assists, five rebounds and a steal per game on shooting splits of 43 percent from the field and 36 percent from beyond the arc.
As for the Golden State Warriors, they would obtain a useful 6-foot-11 guard who can play defense both at the perimeter and in the post. Although Simmons is an awful shooter from beyond 18 feet, his passing ability and finishing talent is second to none. Simmons could thrive even better in the bay being surrounded by pure shooters in Curry and Thompson. When the splash brothers are healthy, they could go off-ball and have Simmons run the point, giving more opportunities for Curry and Thompson in the catch-and-shoot scene in which both of those players have thrived in before. Simmons is currently averaging 16.1 points, 8.4 assists, 7.6 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game.
Many are outraged by this trade scenario as both players are 23 years old and still have a lot to prove. Simmons should not be subjected to failure at such a young age for not being a superstar caliber-player that can not bring a team to the championship series. Michael Jordan and Lebron James both did not win their first championships until they were 27. But at the same time, Simmons has been in the league for four years and has not shown any improvement to shooting the ball outside of 18 feet. Frustration in the organization can build up as the team is built to win now, and if a player can not show improvement to something that is hindering the potential of the team, the front office has to make the tough decision to find a solution. That solution could be trading a talented Simmons for a shooter.
Both players would see improvement to their stats as Russell will finally be on a team that is succeeding and could be part of a roster that can pull their weight while Simmons will finally be surrounded by shooters who can hit the three and spread the floor so that he can run around in the low post and distribute the ball.
This trade rumor might seem far-fetched to many, but in the NBA, organizations are all about the business and how winning comes first. The likelihood of this trade rumor is not far off from what could possibly happen. This trade could happen quicker than many believe, and it would shake up the future for two franchises in what some would see as beneficial for their futures and goals.