It seems like Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons will never leave the headlines. Just last week, he was getting slammed by analysts for his back injury. This week, he’s back at it again but in a very familiar place: the trade rumor mill.
Simmons’ trade stock
A report by The Athletic reveals that the Atlanta Hawks, who had their eyes on Simmons last February, haven’t given up on landing the Australian. Things are even looking better for the Hawks as Simmons’ trade stock isn’t as high as it was before.
“I’d also keep an eye on Simmons, too. Several people inside the Hawks’ organization wanted Simmons at the trade deadline. The price might not be as high to land him now, especially if Brooklyn decides to move on before he plays one game for the Nets,” wrote Chris Kirschner in his story.
We can surmise that the main obstacle for the Hawks’ pursuit of Simmons was Daryl Morey — the Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations who wouldn’t budge unless he sees another All-Star on the table. Morey probably wanted Trae Young in exchange for Simmons. But that’s practically career suicide for the Hawks front office. And so the deal didn’t push through.
But things are different now, maybe a bit rosier for the Hawks. We can even say that the stars might be aligning for them. The Nets’ early playoff exit is a clue that everything might be in shambles in New Jersey — both the roster, coaching staff, and the front office. And the knee-jerk reaction has always been a roster shake-up. Acquiring Simmons might be easier than anticipated. And it might even cost them just a few role players and some draft picks. Young and a good chunk of their core would remain intact.
Is Simmons still legit?
At the end of the day, it will all boil down to Simmons’ performance. At this point in time, we cannot say that he’s the Simmons of old. Come to think of it, the “prime” Simmons we saw had lots of holes in his game (i.e., the lack of a jump shot) which resulted in the 76ers’ lackluster playoff campaigns.
He didn’t play the entire season, and now he’s recovering from back surgery. So what’s the empirical data which suggests that Simmons is still the real deal?
It’s all conjecture at this point. But the fact that Simmons is back on the trade rumor mill again is hilarious at most and interesting at the very least. Let’s hope he finds a home soon.