The Rules of Pacers Digest

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Whether your are a long standing forum member or whether you have just registered today, it's a good idea to read and review the rules below so that you have a very good idea of what to expect when you come to Pacers Digest.

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Rule #1

Pacers Digest is intended to be a place to discuss basketball without having to deal with the kinds of behaviors or attitudes that distract people from sticking with the discussion of the topics at hand. These unwanted distractions can come in many forms, and admittedly it can sometimes be tricky to pin down each and every kind that can rear its ugly head, but we feel that the following examples and explanations cover at least a good portion of that ground and should at least give people a pretty good idea of the kinds of things we actively discourage:

"Anyone who __________ is a liar / a fool / an idiot / a blind homer / has their head buried in the sand / a blind hater / doesn't know basketball / doesn't watch the games"

"People with intelligence will agree with me when I say that __________"

"Only stupid people think / believe / do ___________"

"I can't wait to hear something from PosterX when he/she sees that **insert a given incident or current event that will have probably upset or disappointed PosterX here**"

"He/she is just delusional"

"This thread is stupid / worthless / embarrassing"

"I'm going to take a moment to point and / laugh at PosterX / GroupOfPeopleY who thought / believed *insert though/belief here*"

"Remember when PosterX said OldCommentY that no longer looks good? "

In general, if a comment goes from purely on topic to something 'ad hominem' (personal jabs, personal shots, attacks, flames, however you want to call it, towards a person, or a group of people, or a given city/state/country of people), those are most likely going to be found intolerable.

We also dissuade passive aggressive behavior. This can be various things, but common examples include statements that are basically meant to imply someone is either stupid or otherwise incapable of holding a rational conversation. This can include (but is not limited to) laughing at someone's conclusions rather than offering an honest rebuttal, asking people what game they were watching, or another common problem is Poster X will say "that player isn't that bad" and then Poster Y will say something akin to "LOL you think that player is good". We're not going to tolerate those kinds of comments out of respect for the community at large and for the sake of trying to just have an honest conversation.

Now, does the above cover absolutely every single kind of distraction that is unwanted? Probably not, but you should by now have a good idea of the general types of things we will be discouraging. The above examples are meant to give you a good feel for / idea of what we're looking for. If something new or different than the above happens to come along and results in the same problem (that being, any other attitude or behavior that ultimately distracts from actually just discussing the topic at hand, or that is otherwise disrespectful to other posters), we can and we will take action to curb this as well, so please don't take this to mean that if you managed to technically avoid saying something exactly like one of the above examples that you are then somehow off the hook.

That all having been said, our goal is to do so in a generally kind and respectful way, and that doesn't mean the moment we see something we don't like that somebody is going to be suspended or banned, either. It just means that at the very least we will probably say something about it, quite possibly snipping out the distracting parts of the post in question while leaving alone the parts that are actually just discussing the topics, and in the event of a repeating or excessive problem, then we will start issuing infractions to try to further discourage further repeat problems, and if it just never seems to improve, then finally suspensions or bans will come into play. We would prefer it never went that far, and most of the time for most of our posters, it won't ever have to.

A slip up every once and a while is pretty normal, but, again, when it becomes repetitive or excessive, something will be done. Something occasional is probably going to be let go (within reason), but when it starts to become habitual or otherwise a pattern, odds are very good that we will step in.

There's always a small minority that like to push people's buttons and/or test their own boundaries with regards to the administrators, and in the case of someone acting like that, please be aware that this is not a court of law, but a private website run by people who are simply trying to do the right thing as they see it. If we feel that you are a special case that needs to be dealt with in an exceptional way because your behavior isn't explicitly mirroring one of our above examples of what we generally discourage, we can and we will take atypical action to prevent this from continuing if you are not cooperative with us.

Also please be aware that you will not be given a pass simply by claiming that you were 'only joking,' because quite honestly, when someone really is just joking, for one thing most people tend to pick up on the joke, including the person or group that is the target of the joke, and for another thing, in the event where an honest joke gets taken seriously and it upsets or angers someone, the person who is truly 'only joking' will quite commonly go out of his / her way to apologize and will try to mend fences. People who are dishonest about their statements being 'jokes' do not do so, and in turn that becomes a clear sign of what is really going on. It's nothing new.

In any case, quite frankly, the overall quality and health of the entire forum's community is more important than any one troublesome user will ever be, regardless of exactly how a problem is exhibiting itself, and if it comes down to us having to make a choice between you versus the greater health and happiness of the entire community, the community of this forum will win every time.

Lastly, there are also some posters, who are generally great contributors and do not otherwise cause any problems, who sometimes feel it's their place to provoke or to otherwise 'mess with' that small minority of people described in the last paragraph, and while we possibly might understand why you might feel you WANT to do something like that, the truth is we can't actually tolerate that kind of behavior from you any more than we can tolerate the behavior from them. So if we feel that you are trying to provoke those other posters into doing or saying something that will get themselves into trouble, then we will start to view you as a problem as well, because of the same reason as before: The overall health of the forum comes first, and trying to stir the pot with someone like that doesn't help, it just makes it worse. Some will simply disagree with this philosophy, but if so, then so be it because ultimately we have to do what we think is best so long as it's up to us.

If you see a problem that we haven't addressed, the best and most appropriate course for a forum member to take here is to look over to the left of the post in question. See underneath that poster's name, avatar, and other info, down where there's a little triangle with an exclamation point (!) in it? Click that. That allows you to report the post to the admins so we can definitely notice it and give it a look to see what we feel we should do about it. Beyond that, obviously it's human nature sometimes to want to speak up to the poster in question who has bothered you, but we would ask that you try to refrain from doing so because quite often what happens is two or more posters all start going back and forth about the original offending post, and suddenly the entire thread is off topic or otherwise derailed. So while the urge to police it yourself is understandable, it's best to just report it to us and let us handle it. Thank you!

All of the above is going to be subject to a case by case basis, but generally and broadly speaking, this should give everyone a pretty good idea of how things will typically / most often be handled.

Rule #2

If the actions of an administrator inspire you to make a comment, criticism, or express a concern about it, there is a wrong place and a couple of right places to do so.

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If this is done the wrong way, those comments will be deleted, and if it's a repeating problem then it may also receive an infraction as well.

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When you ignore a user, you will unfortunately still see some hints of their existence (nothing we can do about that), however, it does the following key things:

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Rule #4

Regarding infractions, currently they carry a value of one point each, and that point will expire in 31 days. If at any point a poster is carrying three points at the same time, that poster will be suspended until the oldest of the three points expires.

Rule #5

When you share or paste content or articles from another website, you must include the URL/link back to where you found it, who wrote it, and what website it's from. Said content will be removed if this doesn't happen.

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The legal means of watching or listening to NBA games are NBA League Pass Broadband (for US, or for International; both cost money) and NBA Audio League Pass (which is free). Look for them on

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However, once the discussion seems to be more/mostly about the political issues instead of the sports figure or his specific situation, the thread is usually closed.

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We prefer self-restraint and/or modesty when making jokes or off topic comments in a sports discussion thread. They can be fun, but sometimes they derail or distract from a topic, and we don't want to see that happen. If we feel it is a problem, we will either delete or move those posts from the thread.

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  • Ben Simmons believes playing with Joel Embiid has ‘run its course’ and Sixers media day messages fall flat with him

    Ben Simmons believes playing with Joel Embiid has ‘run its course’ and Sixers media day messages fall flat with him

    By Sam Amick 1h ago 101
    Ben Simmons was looking for houses in Houston not too long ago.

    Let’s start there.

    Early on last season, when the intel coming the Philadelphia 76ers guard’s way indicated that he’d likely be trading places with then Rockets-star James Harden, Simmons was so convinced that new Sixers president Daryl Morey was about to reunite with his favorite franchise player that he started researching on the real estate front. If you had to pinpoint a moment when emotional ties were severed between Simmons and the only NBA franchise he has ever known, that may have been it.

    Even if no one knew it at the time.

    The trade never came, however. Harden headed for Brooklyn instead, and Simmons — who took the uncertainty in stride and never publicly complained about the role he had unwillingly played in it all — came back to the team that would finish the regular season with the best record in the East before its ill-fated end against Atlanta in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

    Fast forward to Monday afternoon, when Morey, Sixers coach Doc Rivers and big man Joel Embiid all spoke at length about Simmons’ absence from their training camp during the team’s media day, and it should surprise no one that their messages fell flat when they reached the Simmons camp. If anything, it only added to the agitation.

    Specifically, Morey’s claim that “there’s a lot of hope” for a reconciliation here — paired with the inference that Simmons is the NBA’s version of the NFL’s Aaron Rodgers — was seen as laughable and out of touch.

    “I watched last night a player lead their team to victory where a thousand pounds of digital ink were spilled on how much he would never play for that team again,” Morey had said of the Green Bay Packers star who led a last-second win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night after looking destined for a divorce with the franchise just months ago. “Look, every situation is different, but we have a lot of optimism that we can make it work here. …Ben’s a great player, and we expect him back. We expect him to be a 76er.”

    Cue the response.

    “It’s total ********,” one source with knowledge of Simmons’ outlook said of Morey’s analysis.

    Rivers’ suggestion that Simmons was shying away from the tough Sixers fanbase didn’t help much, either.

    So no, in other words, nothing that was said in those candid Sixers media sessions appears to have helped this stalemate.

    When it comes to understanding Simmons’ hardline stance, one that could become quite costly soon if he starts missing games, it’s all so layered at this point that it’s hard to know where to begin. He’s clearly hurt by the way he was, in his eyes, scapegoated after his widely criticized finish against the Hawks and how that blame-game tone remains. But the issues between Simmons and the Sixers started long before then.

    Yet of all the problem areas to explore, there’s none more unyielding and impossible to ignore than this: People who have intimate knowledge of how he sees this situation continue to insist that he’s done playing with Embiid. There’s nothing personal about this choice, it seems, but the 25-year-old Simmons has clearly decided that his career is better off without Embiid blocking the runways in the paint that he so badly needs to succeed.

    As he sees it, sources say, the organization’s choice to build its basketball ecosystem around Embiid’s style simply isn’t conducive to the way he needs to play. So while Embiid insisted to reporters on Monday that he wants Simmons back, this much is clear: The feeling is not mutual.

    “It has run its course,” the source said of their pairing.

    There’s a reason Simmons turned his teammates away when they wanted to visit him in Los Angeles this week and make a last-ditch plea for him to re-join the squad: In his mind, this chapter is closed and there’s simply no dignity in coming back for the sake of filling a familiar spot until the inevitable occurs. Even if he has four seasons and a combined $140 million left on his deal.

    Truth be told, sources say Simmons thought he would have been traded by now.

    When he met with the Sixers brass at the Los Angeles home of his agent, Rich Paul, in August, telling managing partner Josh Harris in direct fashion that he no longer wanted to play for his club, the goal was to avoid this sort of mess. Sources say the Sixers had come equipped with all sorts of reasons that he should want to stay, and even supported the argument with a statistically based presentation featuring the success of the Embiid-Simmons pairing. But his view, his uneasy feelings about the problematic fit remained unchanged.

    And now, it seems, that leaves them all with this uncomfortable purgatory period. Will Morey finally lower his price in trade talks for Simmons and send him to a new home, or will Simmons relent on his stance and return to Philadelphia as a way to avoid paying the price for his absence while his fate is decided by the front office?

    Either way, the claim from the Simmons side is that there is no coming back from this. Even if he returned to avoid the stiff penalties, sources close to Simmons say the notion that he would up his trade value by re-engaging mentally and playing well enough to convince suitors that he might be willing to stay is, well, just that. Delusional.

    This relationship is too far gone. The only question left to answer now, as Simmons sees it, is where his next house-hunt will take place.


    • Simmons thinks Embiid's holding him back?


      • This meshes with what has already been said, that he's looking to play somewhere that he can be the main guy. This is one reason I want convinced that his list of preferred teams didn't necessarily include the Kings. Perhaps what it's really about is he's decided that the roster should be tailor made to him and his skills (or deficiencies)... Because surely he's not to blame for his recent playoff meltdown.

        It also if true would throw cold water on him ever warming to playing here, where Sabonis is just as post-locked as Embiid


        • Originally posted by CJ Jones View Post
          Simmons thinks Embiid's holding him back?
          He would have developed that jump shot by now if Embiid wasn't busy drawing double and triple teams and dominating in the paint.
          Danger Zone


          • Sixers ownership group is willing to "holdout and be stubborn" in regards to finding a good trade package for Ben Simmons


            • Sounds like a cancer to the locker room.


              • Embiid speaks on the Simmons drama..


                • That should mend some fences


                  • Originally posted by Swingman View Post
                    Sounds like a cancer to the locker room.
                    The Pacers have recently shown a knack for identifying and eliminating cancer.
                    I think KP is a Captain Planet fan. He believes that the collective will of five decent starters can outweigh the power of top-level talent. Too bad Herb won't cut the check for their Planeteer rings.


                    • It's from B/R, but it was written by a NBA Video Coordinator who has 3 years of experience with Simmons on the Australian National Team.

                      Worth a read. The link below shows all the embedded videos.



                      What Kind of NBA Team Can Actually Build Around Ben Simmons?

                      MO DAKHIL SEPTEMBER 29, 2021

                      The Ben Simmons trade saga took another turn Tuesday, with multiple reports suggesting fit issues were fueling his desire to leave the Philadelphia 76ers.

                      "People who have intimate knowledge of how he sees this situation continue to insist that he's done playing with [center Joel] Embiid," Sam Amick of The Athletic reported Tuesday morning. "There's nothing personal about this choice, it seems, but the 25-year-old Simmons has clearly decided that his career is better off without Embiid blocking the runways in the paint that he so badly needs to succeed."

                      Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer echoed that report later in the day.

                      "League sources say the primary motivation for Klutch Sports' aggressive holdout is to steer him to a team built around him on offense," he wrote. "No matter the roster makeup in Philly, he will only ever be No. 2 as long as Embiid is healthy."

                      Simmons' fit with Embiid has never been ideal. His reluctance to attempt jump shots limits his effectiveness in half-court settings, as the Sixers often run their offense through Embiid. Since Simmons isn't a threat to punish opponents with open jumpers, defenders often sag off him and divert more attention to Embiid or one of his other teammates.

                      The breaking point between Simmons and the Sixers came when he passed up a wide-open dunk in Game 7 of their second-round series against the Atlanta Hawks. Negative postgame comments from Embiid and head coach Doc Rivers didn't help matters, and Philadelphia spent most of the offseason attempting to trade him.

                      Now as the season nears, Simmons has decided to hold out until the Sixers trade him. While teams may be trying to lowball the Sixers in the hope that their price will drop as his holdout becomes a bigger distraction, they should instead focus on the upside of what Simmons could become elsewhere.

                      Re-Imagining Simmons

                      Simmons won't ever be the offensive focal point in Philadelphia, but that doesn't mean he can't be elsewhere.

                      With Embiid out of the lineup last year against the Utah Jazz, Simmons had a career night with 42 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists. The big fella's absence enabled him to attack in multiple ways offensively.

                      As usual, he continued to be a freight train in transition. Here, he took advantage of the Jazz's turnover, pushing the ball upcourt and splitting the defense on his way to a powerful dunk:


                      That isn't anything new from Simmons. He's at his best when he can get out on the break.

                      Against the Jazz, Simmons also showed his ability to attack in half-court settings. The Sixers cleared out, and he attacked Royce O'Neale off the dribble on his way to a jumper in the paint:


                      Simmons used his speed when the Jazz defended him with bigs. First, he blew by Rudy Gobert on his way to the cup. Then he broke the play by faking the dribble hand-off and attacked Derrick Favors for the and-1:


                      When the Jazz put wing players on him, he casually worked them down to the post. In the clip below, he walked Bojan Bogdanovic down until he got in range for an easy jump hook:


                      Without Embiid on the court, Simmons becomes more than just a transition dynamo. A team built around him could make him a completely different player in the half court.

                      The Precedent

                      Simmons wouldn't be the first player to leave a team and thrive in a new role. Last season, Jerami Grant went from being a role player for the Denver Nuggets to the No. 1 option for the Detroit Pistons.

                      The ceiling for someone getting traded and becoming a new player is James Harden.

                      After three years coming off the bench in Oklahoma City, Harden was traded to the Houston Rockets ahead of the 2012-13 season. He was coming off winning the Sixth Man of the Year award and could not come to terms on an extension with the Thunder.

                      The trade to Houston changed everything for Harden. He not only became a starter for the Rockets but also the primary ball-handler.

                      He went from averaging 16.8 points during his final season in OKC to 25.9 in his first year with Houston. More importantly, his usage rate jumped from 21.6 to 29.0, and it hasn't fallen below 27.8 since. It was all history from there as he launched into stardom.

                      Being given an opportunity to make a Harden-like rise away from Embiid could be just what Simmons needs. So, where might those opportunities be?

                      How to Build Around Simmons

                      Simmons has yet to be on a team that was completely devoted to building around him. Organizations should look at the success the Milwaukee Bucks have had building around Giannis Antetokounmpo. It is important to note the differences between the two players, though.

                      Antetokounmpo is more physically imposing than Simmons, has a more aggressive mindset and is not afraid to fail. Simmons is a better passer than Antetokounmpo by a wide margin, a better ball-handler and is a better defender on the perimeter as well.

                      To build successfully around Simmons, a team should follow the Bucks' blueprint.

                      The first order of business is creating space on the floor. Adding shooters is a must with Simmons' lack of a mid-range game. Ideally, all four players on the court would fit that mold. However, a big man who can operate out of the dunker spot with three other shooters would make this work.

                      A secondary ball-handler who can create his own shot and run the pick-and-roll is also vital. This would open up the offense from being so heliocentric on Simmons. This also would allow the team to use him as a roller.

                      One more piece to consider is a big man who can defend the paint. Sharing the floor with Embiid allowed Simmons to be overly aggressive on the perimeter. Having another big man who could provide that help would go along away.

                      Finally, the most important piece would be a closer. Even though Simmons would be the primary playmaker, he cannot be the closer. His unwillingness to shoot outside the paint and poor free-throw percentage make him ineligible. It is not that different from Khris Middleton taking over for the Bucks in close games.

                      Handing the keys to Simmons only works if the team is built around him properly. The Sixers are well-constructed but built for Embiid, not Simmons.

                      Potential Landing Spots

                      The Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs are teams still looking for a centerpiece.

                      For Houston, this would be its second chance to trade for Simmons, and adding him now would accelerate the rebuilding process. The Rockets would still have some work to do to build around Simmons, but they would have a central building block.

                      It is very unlikely this trade would happen with John Wall as the centerpiece. It will likely cost Houston a young player like Jalen Green or Kevin Porter Jr. as well as draft capital.

                      The Spurs are an interesting team for Simmons, and they have been in search of a star since Kawhi Leonard forced his way out of town. There are several different packages San Antonio can put together with guys such as Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Lonnie Walker IV all potentially available.

                      San Antonio with Simmons would have some of the key pieces highlighted earlier.

                      Jakob Poeltl made a leap defensively last year, as the Spurs had a defensive rating of 109 when he was on the floor, three points lower than their 112 season average. The bigger issue will be the need to add shooters since the Spurs lost two of their three best three-point shooters when Rudy Gay and Patty Mills left in free agency.

                      One thing that must be considered is Simmons' appetite to go from a contender to a rebuilder.

                      Who Should Hand Simmons the Keys?

                      Three teams in particular should consider making a big move for Simmons: the Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers.

                      Washington is in a difficult position. With Bradley Beal's player option coming up at the end of this season, the Wizards have to impress him. Pairing Simmons with him is a start.

                      A package centered around Spencer Dinwiddie, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and draft picks could be enough to get the Sixers to move. Since Dinwiddie signed in free agency, this trade couldn't happen until Dec. 15.

                      Last season, Russell Westbrook had a usage rate of 29.5 percent, second to Beal's 33.1 percent. Simmons can take over Westbrook's usage, and it would be a jump for him from the 20 percent he had last season.

                      In addition, the team's defense would be appreciably better than it was last season. After a slow start last year, Washington's defensive rating rose to be 20th. With Simmons, a full season of Daniel Gafford's shot-blocking and Rui Hachimura on the wing, the defense could take a major leap.

                      Sacramento and Portland were both horrific defensively last season. The Blazers finished with a defensive rating of 115.3, which ranked 29th leaguewide, and the Kings were dead last at 116.5.

                      Sacramento would need to build a trade package around De'Aaron Fox for the deal to make sense for both sides. Amick reported the Kings aren't willing to include either Fox or Tyrese Haliburton in trade talks for Simmons, but they're in the midst of a 15-year playoff drought. It might be time for them to make a drastic move.

                      With Simmons as their primary ball-handler, Haliburton as the secondary playmaker, Buddy Hield bombing away from deep and Richaun Holmes playing center, the Kings would be vastly improved. Pairing him with defensive-minded rookie guard Davion Mitchell would ensure they became more stifling on that end of the court, too.

                      The Kings would likely take a slight step back offensively without Fox's 25.2 points per game. However, Simmons would make up for it with his ability to create for others, especially threes.

                      Fox assisted on 357 three-pointers over the last two seasons, per, whereas Simmons assisted on 434. Simmons' mark ranked fourth leaguewide, trailing only Luka Doncic, Westbrook and Damian Lillard.

                      The Blazers should also be interested in acquiring Simmons. Using Lillard as the centerpiece appears unlikely, but it could make sense if his offseason frustration boils over.

                      If the Blazers did include Lillard in trade talks, they'd be in a position to ask for more since they'd be giving up the better player. They should be able to get back multiple draft picks and/or another young player like Tyrese Maxey.

                      A Simmons-led Blazers team could be potent offensively. CJ McCollum could serve as a closer at the end of games while still getting multiple open looks. Norman Powell and former Sixers wing Robert Covington would serve as complementary scorers and three-point threats. Center Jusuf Nurkic could play more out of the dunker spot, where he'd have plenty of finishing opportunities and defend the bigs of the West.

                      Replacing Lillard with Simmons would drastically improve Portland's defense, too. He finished as the runner-up to Gobert in this past season's Defensive Player of the Year race, as he's one of the few players who can guard any position 1-5. The Sixers have also ranked in the 70th percentile or higher in defensive rating with Simmons on the floor in three of the last four seasons, per Cleaning the Glass.

                      Simmons has never had the chance to be the No. 1 option of an NBA team. Getting traded to the Blazers or Kings could give him that opportunity.

                      With a usage rate closer to 30, Simmons would be able to create for others more frequently. That isn't possible when he's playing alongside Embiid, who's gobbling up a ton of possessions on his own.

                      Simmons wouldn't have that luxury if he gets traded to Minnesota and teams up with Karl-Anthony Towns or goes to Golden State and joins Stephen Curry. Those teams would likely put him in a similar role as the one he plays in Philadelphia, which would prevent him from fully showcasing his skill set.

                      Simmons has been given some tools to succeed, but never the whole toolbox. A chance to play as a team's focal point might finally turn him into the player that many thought he could be when the Sixers took him with the No. 1 overall pick in 2016.


                      Mo Dakhil spent six years with the Los Angeles Clippers and two years with the San Antonio Spurs as a video coordinator, as well as three years with the Australian men's national team. Follow him on Twitter, @MoDakhil_NBA.
                      I think KP is a Captain Planet fan. He believes that the collective will of five decent starters can outweigh the power of top-level talent. Too bad Herb won't cut the check for their Planeteer rings.


                      • vnzla posted that jazz game, and literally all his shots were layups...there is no way he holds up as a #1 option on offense once defenses have any time to adjust


                        • i've never been a fan of embiid, but this i highly respect this take:


                          • Originally posted by dal9 View Post
                            i've never been a fan of embiid, but this i highly respect this take:
                            Embiid is a bit of a goofball but he is actually alright. I came around over time.



                              Joel Embiid finally speaks his piece on Sixers’ Ben Simmons situation: ‘Weird, disappointing, borderline kinda disrespectful’

                              Rich Hofmann Oct 1, 2021 120
                              If the Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons on-court pairing has in fact run its course, Embiid just published his memoirs on the subject.

                              Earlier this week, our own Sam Amick delivered a report from sources that were privy to Simmons’ thinking as he holds out on the West Coast while his teammates prepare for the upcoming season. Amick wrote of Simmons: “As he sees it, sources say, the organization’s choice to build its basketball ecosystem around Embiid’s style simply isn’t conducive to the way he needs to play.”

                              On the third day of Sixers training camp, Embiid was asked a question about his reaction to Simmons’ perspective that their partnership has “run its course.” And for someone who has been combative at times with the media this offseason, he sure didn’t question this report. In giving a four-minute rebuttal on the subject, Embiid offered a candid answer that summed up the Sixers’ past four seasons and the challenges of building a team around his talented running mate.

                              It would not be accurate to say Embiid spent all four minutes burying Simmons. At one point, he offered, “We are a better team with him. There’s no question about it.” Despite that, Embiid gave a sober assessment of how Simmons’ idiosyncratic skill set affects the geometry of the court, and as a result, how the Sixers front office has tried (and largely failed) to build a championship team around them.

                              “Like I said, it is disappointing,” Embiid said of the situation. “But I feel like over the years, the way our team has been built around — like you look at last year, you got the whole starting lineup shot — I was the worst 3-point shooter in the starting lineup, and I shot 38 percent from 3.”

                              Simmons and Embiid are no different from any star-level players who often have the ball in their hands. They both need space. So, when the Sixers traded for Danny Green and Seth Curry a season ago, the bet was to rekindle the 2017-18 formula of knockdown shooters around the two All-Stars. Curry was in JJ Redick’s sniper role, while Green slid into the Robert Covington catch-and-shoot bomber spot. Without the assets to trade for a third star, Daryl Morey reasoned the next best path was to acquire role players who could space the floor.

                              To little surprise, the “Simmons, Embiid and shooting” formula worked on the team level. The starting lineup outscored opponents by 15.9 points per 100 possessions, according to Cleaning The Glass.

                              Individually though, the unit meant to supplement both Embiid and Simmons did not deliver the same results. Embiid was the driving force, as he took his game to the perimeter en route to a second-place MVP finish. Both players brought elite defense, but Simmons plateaued offensively. He averaged 15.9 points per-36 minutes and 7.7 assists, both career lows. As players in his age range continue to improve and pass him, Simmons’ numbers are almost identical to his rookie season.

                              And as Embiid correctly sees it, the Sixers offensive ecosystem isn’t at fault here.

                              “We’ve always had shooters, and I feel like I can really play with anybody and I can make anybody be better on the court,” Embiid said. “I don’t necessarily need shooters, but I feel like over the years, you look at like when we signed Al (Horford), it’s because we needed a stretch five just to make sure that was formed. Most of my career I’ve had to kinda step out to the 3-point line, which I don’t mind. I like to be a basketball player. I like to do everything on the basketball court. But I feel like our teams have been built, whether it’s the shooting needed or the stretch five and all that stuff, I feel like we’ve had it here.”

                              The decision to sign Horford was made in large part so the Sixers’ backup units, which single-handedly squandered a chance at a title when they lost to Toronto in the 2019 playoffs, would be solidified. Simmons had a legitimate stretch five to play with. And the backup units did play better that year, with Horford trailing the play and shooting 3s from Simmons in transition. Simmons-Horford lineups without Embiid scored 114.2 points per 100 possessions, an excellent mark.

                              But plugging the backup center hole caused a flood elsewhere. Despite the improved bench, the Sixers had their worst season of the Embiid-Simmons era. The major problem, and the reason that so many changes were made after the 2019-20 season, is that the addition of Horford at such a high salary slot meant he had to play the four in starting lineup. And while Horford’s shooting thrived at the five, both he and Josh Richardson in the starting lineup alongside Simmons and Embiid turned a group that had been a strength into less of one. It was a spacing catastrophe.

                              “And we still have (shooting),” Embiid continued. “We’ve got Seth (Curry), like I said, one of the best 3-point shooters ever. Danny Green, Tobias (Harris) is a 40 percent 3-point shooter. Furkan (Korkmaz) coming off the bench, at times Shake (Milton) I think can be a better shooter, but you know, he can get hot. We just added Georges (Niang). So I feel like our teams have always been built around his needs.”

                              The Sixers were a low-volume but accurate 3-point shooting team in 2020-21. But the spacing was improved enough to Embiid put up MVP-level numbers. It’s fair for Embiid to wonder if there was enough space for him to thrive, why does Simmons feel like he’s being held back? After all, Embiid provides more off-ball gravity than Simmons does. The league’s unquestioned post-up king, Embiid actually takes a few 3s per game. And the answer to the question is simple: Embiid’s development has allowed him to thrive in a variety of environments, while Simmons’ stagnation has him longing for greener pastures that may not exist.

                              Despite the Sixers’ regular-season success, 2020-21 provided another glimpse into the difficulty of trying to build a roster around Simmons. For their first three seasons together, the Sixers believed in staggering Simmons and Embiid as much as possible (one alpha dog on the floor to run the show always, essentially). That philosophy changed last season under Morey and Doc Rivers, though. Simmons and Embiid played most of their minutes together, and the Sixers went with an all-bench unit.

                              Again, the fundamental reason Simmons and Embiid played a bunch of minutes together points back to Simmons. Dwight Howard, a reasonable use of resources at a minimum salary slot, was the team’s backup center. But like most players teams can acquire for that salary, Howard did traditional big man things. He hit the glass, protected the rim, played hard and offered no shooting whatsoever. Simmons couldn’t play at the same time with him.

                              Embiid is right to wonder what situation is going to be demonstrably better than the one Simmons has in Philadelphia. There are also other questions he didn’t bring up. What team is going to put four shooters on the floor around Simmons that can also hold up defensively in the way the Sixers can? What team is going to employ two credible centers that stretch the floor for Simmons? And how can a player who just came off a playoff series in which he attempted zero shots in the fourth quarter of the final four games be credibly given the keys to an offense a la Giannis Antetokounmpo? Even if that team exists, would it be any good?

                              When Embiid mentions the team being built around Simmons’ needs, he was talking about one offseason in particular. On this day, he didn’t provide any need for speculation.

                              “So it was kind of surprising to see,” Embiid said. “I’ll always say that even going back to, I mean the reason we signed Al is (him). We got rid of Jimmy (Butler), which I still think was a mistake, just to make sure that he needed the ball in his hands and that’s the decision they made.”

                              In those 2019 playoffs, Butler was the unquestionable crunch-time player. Simmons stood in the dunker spot and defended Kawhi Leonard at a high level (even though that proved to be an impossible task) and let Butler run the offense at the end of games. After that season, Butler, with whom Embiid remains close, walked and led Miami to the NBA Finals. The Sixers floundered.

                              “Like I said, it is surprising, but I’m really focused on the guys that are here,” Embiid said. “The situation is weird, disappointing, borderline kinda disrespectful to all the guys that are out here fighting for their lives. Some guys rely on the team to be successful to stay in the league and make money somehow. Because if you’re on a winning team, you’re always gonna have a spot in the league, just because you’re on a winning team and you contributed. Obviously, we’re a better team with him. We’re not a better team without him. We are a better team with him. But like I said, it is surprising but I’m focused on the guys that are here.”

                              The idea that the Sixers are going to be fine in the regular season without Simmons is up for debate. Embiid has always respected Simmons’ talent level, for good reason. What he provides a team with his transition playmaking and defensive versatility is unquestionably positive and a major part of the Sixers’ success over the past four seasons. Embiid’s four-minute answer felt fitting: Simmons may be the toughest player to define in the league right now.

                              What is less difficult to pinpoint is the main issue with Simmons’ last four years. Despite the great things Simmons does on a basketball court, he has never diversified his offensive game. That is why he has stagnated offensively in the regular season and remains a liability in the halfcourt during the postseason. It’s also the reason the idea that Embiid is holding him back falls flat. Individual improvement and overcoming the fear of failure are more important for Simmons moving forward than finding a different system.

                              If you’re a Sixers fan, one who has been following along since “The Process” started, none of this is news to you. But what does make this important is that it’s coming directly from Embiid. Instead of dropping the occasional comment about “stepping outside of your comfort zone,” Embiid has laid his cards on the table. This is how he feels.

                              “We’re trying to get better,” Embiid said. “We’re trying to get on the same agenda. We know what we gotta do, and every single day we gotta attack it and keep trying to get better every single day. But we are a better team with him. There’s no question about it.

                              “But we still hope that he changes his mind, but I kinda owe it to these guys to just worry about what we have here. That’s the front office’s job to kind of figure out what’s going to happen. That’s not my job, I’m not the GM, I’m not the owner so that’s actually none of my business honestly.”

                              How this gets resolved is still an open debate. The Sixers are in no rush to trade Simmons, and Simmons doesn’t want to play in Philadelphia anymore. Embiid’s comments likely didn’t help matters.

                              Perhaps only one thing from this week is clear. Joel Embiid is now willing to say the uncomfortable truth about Ben Simmons’ game out loud.

                              (Photo: Jesse D. Garrabrant / NBAE via Getty Images)


                                Ben Simmons trade guide: The six NBA teams that check all the boxes
                                • Bobby Marks

                                We are close to the point of no return (if we haven't gotten there already) with Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers.

                                What first started as the All-Star guard asking for a trade this offseason has now turned to Simmons boycotting training camp.


                                The fines, which have already been excessive ($7,500 for missed practices at a minimum), and the $227,000 that Simmons will lose for every game he misses, have not persuaded him to show up in person.

                                Simmons is under contract through 2024-25, and the 76ers have elected to slow play the trade process with two beliefs -- 1) that the marriage is still salvageable, and 2) that there is no trade right now that improves the roster, or at the very least keeps them as an Eastern Conference contender.
                                2021 NBA offseason

                                Most of the NBA's big-name free agents have already agreed to deals, but the offseason moves are still going strong, and we have full coverage here.

                                "I think there's a lot of hope," 76ers president Daryl Morey said Monday morning during his season-opening news conference alongside coach Doc Rivers. "I would say I watched last night a player [the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers] lead his team to victory when a thousand pounds of digital ink were spilled on how much he would never play for that team again.

                                "Look, every situation is different, but we have a lot of optimism that we can make it work here."

                                But what happens if we get to the start of the season and the situation is the same? Or come early December and the 76ers are a .500 team?

                                Would Philadelphia take the best deal on the table or wait until after Dec. 15, when trade restrictions are lifted on most of the free agents signed this offseason?

                                To show the challenges the 76ers' front office faces in finding the right trade, we have broken down the 29 teams into five different tiers, starting with the group that has the combination of young prospects, top-caliber players, contracts and draft assets to make a deal.

                                At a minimum, a team has to send out at least $26.5 million in salary for a Simmons trade to work.

                                MORE: Everything we know about the Ben Simmons situation
                                play2:00Stephen A.'s top destinations for Ben Simmons

                                Stephen A. Smith runs through the teams interested in Ben Simmons should he depart the 76ers.
                                Tier 1: Teams that check all the boxes

                                Portland Trail Blazers

                                Removing Damian Lillard from any trade talks leaves the Blazers with CJ McCollum as their prized trade asset.

                                McCollum, who is coming off six straight seasons of scoring at least 20 points per game, is under contract through the 2023-24 season.

                                Lillard has asked for upgrades to the roster, but is Simmons the right player? And especially at the cost of Lillard's longtime backcourt partner?

                                The Trail Blazers traded a lottery-protected first to Chicago in the Larry Nance Jr. deal and would need to remove the protection in 2022 in order to trade future first-round picks.

                                Off the table: Damian Lillard ($39.3 million; player option in 2024-25)

                                Cannot be traded: Norman Powell (Jan. 15 signing restriction), Cody Zeller (Dec. 15 signing restriction), Ben McLemore (Dec. 15 signing restriction) and Tony Snell (Dec. 15 signing restriction)

                                First-round assets and trade exceptions
                                • Trade exception: $1.8 million

                                Note: The Trail Blazers are sending Chicago a top-14-protected first-round pick from 2022 to 2028. Because the pick has seven years of protection, the Blazers are not allowed to trade a first-round pick unless the protection is lifted.

                                Tradable contracts (2021-22 season)
                                1. CJ McCollum: $30.8 million; unrestricted free agent in 2024
                                2. Robert Covington: $13.0 million; unrestricted free agent in 2022
                                3. Jusuf Nurkic: $12.0 million; unrestricted free agent in 2022
                                4. Larry Nance Jr.: $10.7 million; unrestricted free agent in 2023
                                5. Anfernee Simons: $3.9 million; restricted free agent in 2022
                                6. Nassir Little: $2.3 million; restricted free agent in 2023
                                7. CJ Elleby: $1.5 million; restricted free agent in 2022
                                8. Greg Brown III: $925K; restricted free agent in 2023 (non-guaranteed in 2023-24)
                                David Richard/USA TODAY SportsCleveland Cavaliers

                                Does a combination of Collin Sexton, Kevin Love and draft picks appeal to the 76ers?

                                If that question was posed in 2017, the answer would have been a resounding yes -- because of the play (and health) of Love.

                                Now, Love is anything but the All-Star he once was and the $60 million left on his contract is seen as dead weight.

                                Sexton is one of the top players under the age of 25 and is coming off a career season in which he averaged 24.3 points per game. But he is a restricted free agent (if there is no extension reached by Oct. 18), and Philadelphia would need to have a comfort level in committing to a lucrative contract.

                                Another hurdle: Would Cleveland give up lightly lottery-protected first-round picks in a deep Eastern Conference?

                                Simmons is certainly an upgrade to the Cavs' roster, but does he push this team from the lottery to one competing for a spot in the play-in tournament?

                                Cannot be traded: Jarrett Allen (Jan. 15 signing restriction), Kevin Pangos (Dec. 15 signing restriction), Denzel Valentine (Dec. 19 signing restriction) and Lauri Markkanen (Dec. 15 signing restriction)

                                First-round assets and trade exceptions
                                • Cleveland has all its first-round picks
                                • The Cavaliers have $4.2 and $1.7 million trade exceptions

                                Tradable contracts (2021-22 season)
                                1. Kevin Love: $31.3 million; unrestricted free agent in 2023
                                2. Ricky Rubio: $17.8 million; unrestricted free agent in 2022
                                3. Cedi Osman: $8.1 million; unrestricted free agent in 2024 (non-guaranteed in 2023-24)
                                4. Evan Mobley: $8.1 million; restricted free agent in 2025
                                5. Darius Garland: $7.0 million; restricted free agent in 2023
                                6. Collin Sexton: $6.3 million; restricted free agent in 2022
                                7. Isaac Okoro: $6.7 million; restricted free agent in 2024
                                8. Dylan Windler: $2.3 million: restricted free agent in 2023
                                9. Dean Wade: $1.8 million; unrestricted free agent in 2023 (non-guaranteed in 2021-22 and team option for 2022-23)
                                10. Mfiondu Kabengele: 1.7 million; unrestricted free agent in 2023 (non-guaranteed in 2021-22 and 2022-23)
                                11. Lamar Stevens: $1.5 million; team option in 2022-23 (non-guaranteed in 2021-22 and 2022-23)

                                Indiana Pacers

                                It's hard to see Indiana making a blockbuster trade for Simmons, considering the early part of the season is an evaluation period for new head coach Rick Carlisle.

                                But the Pacers have six players earning between $10 million and $22 million, including All-Star Domantas Sabonis and starting point guard Malcolm Brogdon.

                                Cannot be traded: T.J. McConnell (Jan. 15 signing restriction) and Torrey Craig (Dec. 15 signing restriction)

                                First-round assets and trade exceptions
                                • Indiana has all its first-round picks
                                • Trade exceptions: $7.3, $4.8, $4.0 and $2.9 million

                                Tradable contracts (2021-22 season)
                                1. Malcolm Brogdon: $21.7 million; unrestricted free agent in 2023
                                2. Domantas Sabonis: $19.8 million; unrestricted free agent in 2024
                                3. Myles Turner: $18 million; unrestricted free agent in 2023
                                4. Caris LeVert: $17.5 million; unrestricted free agent in 2023
                                5. T.J. Warren: $12.9 million; unrestricted free agent in 2022
                                6. Jeremy Lamb: $10.5 million; unrestricted free agent in 2022
                                7. Justin Holiday: $6.0 million; unrestricted free agent in 2023
                                8. Chris Duarte: $3.7 million; restricted free agent in 2025
                                9. Goga Bitadze: $3.1 million; restricted free agent in 2023
                                10. Isaiah Jackson: $2.4 million; restricted free agent in 2025
                                11. Edmond Sumner: $2.3 million; unrestricted free agent in 2022
                                12. Kelan Martin: $1.7 million; restricted free agent in 2022 (non-guaranteed in 2021-22)
                                13. Oshae Brissett: $1.7 million; team option in 2022-23 (non-guaranteed in 2021-22)
                                David Berding/USA TODAY SportsMinnesota Timberwolves

                                It's unclear if the Timberwolves have the players to get a Simmons trade done, unless they recruit a third team or if a team believes D'Angelo Russell can still be an impact player.

                                Because the roster is loaded with rotational players, any Simmons trade would require Minnesota to move multiple first-round picks.

                                That is a big risk for a team that has one playoff appearance since 2003-04.

                                Off the table: Karl-Anthony Towns ($31.7 million; unrestricted free agent in 2024) and Anthony Edwards ($10.2 million; restricted free agent in 2024)

                                Cannot be traded: Jarred Vanderbilt (Jan. 15 signing restriction) and Jordan McLaughlin (Jan. 15 signing restriction)

                                First-round assets and trade exceptions
                                • Minnesota has all its first-round picks
                                • Trade exception: $4.8 million

                                Tradable contracts (2021-22 season)
                                1. D'Angelo Russell: $30.0 million; unrestricted free agent in 2023
                                2. Malik Beasley: $14.5 million; team option in 2023-24
                                3. Patrick Beverley: $14.3 million; unrestricted free agent in 2022
                                4. Taurean Prince: $13 million; unrestricted free agent in 2022
                                5. Josh Okogie: $4.1 million; restricted free agent in 2022
                                6. Jake Layman: $3.9 million; unrestricted free agent in 2022
                                7. Leandro Bolmaro: $2.4 million; restricted free agent in 2025
                                8. Jaden McDaniels: $2.1 million; restricted free agent in 2024
                                9. Jaylen Nowell: $1.8 million; team option in 2022-23 (non-guaranteed in 2021-22)
                                10. Naz Reid: $1.8 million; team option in 2022-23

                                San Antonio Spurs

                                The Spurs should be the wild card out of this group. They have a combination of young players (Dejounte Murray and Derrick White) on team-friendly contracts, a veteran in Thaddeus Young who can impact a playoff roster and all their own first-round picks, including a future one from the Chicago Bulls.
                                Editor's Picks
                                • 76ers' Rivers wants to convince Simmons to stay

                                • Six Ben Simmons trades we want to see

                                  9dNBA Insiders

                                To jump into the deep end with Simmons, though, the Spurs would have to do something they rarely do -- make an in-season trade.

                                The last time they did so? Nine years ago, in 2012, when they moved Richard Jefferson and T.J. Ford to the Golden State Warriors for Stephen Jackson.

                                Cannot be traded: Doug McDermott (Dec. 15 signing restriction), Zach Collins (Dec. 15 signing restriction), Bryn Forbes (Dec. 15 signing restriction) and Jock Landale (Dec. 15 signing restriction)

                                First-round assets and trade exceptions
                                • San Antonio has all its first-round picks
                                • San Antonio has a first-round pick from Chicago. The pick will be conveyed either in 2025 or 2026.

                                Tradable contracts (2021-22 season)
                                1. Dejounte Murray: $15.4 million; unrestricted free agent in 2024
                                2. Derrick White: $15.2 million; unrestricted free agent in 2025
                                3. Thaddeus Young: $14.2 million; unrestricted free agent in 2022
                                4. Al-Farouq Aminu: $10.2 million; unrestricted free agent in 2022
                                5. Jakob Poeltl: $8.8 million; unrestricted free agent in 2023
                                6. Lonnie Walker IV: $4.5 million; restricted free agent in 2022
                                7. Devin Vassell: $4.2 million; restricted free agent in 2024
                                8. Josh Primo: $3.9 million; restricted free agent in 2025
                                9. Luka Samanic: $3.0 million; restricted free agent in 2023
                                10. Keldon Johnson: $2.1 million; restricted free agent in 2023
                                11. Drew Eubanks: $1.8 million; unrestricted free agent in 2023 (non-guaranteed in 2022-23)
                                12. Tre Jones: $1.5 million; restricted free agent in 2023 (non-guaranteed in 2022-23)

                                Toronto Raptors

                                Former All-Star Pascal Siakam would be the top trade target out of this top tier, but does a frontcourt of Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris and Siakam -- who shot 29.7% from 3 last season -- address the Sixers' spacing concerns? If not, Philadelphia would need to include a third team.

                                The Raptors have Goran Dragic's expiring contract but would need to include a player such as OG Anunoby and draft compensation for the 76ers to consider a trade.

                                Cannot be traded: Gary Trent Jr. (Jan.15 signing restriction), Khem Birch (Dec. 15 signing restriction), Sam Dekker (Dec. 15 signing restriction), Svi Mykhailiuk (Dec. 15 signing restriction), Isaac Bonga (Dec. 15 signing restriction) and Ishmail Wainright (Dec. 15 signing restriction)

                                First-round assets and trade exceptions
                                • Toronto has all its first-round picks
                                • Trade exception: $4.8 million

                                Tradable contracts (2021-22 season)
                                1. Pascal Siakam: $33.0 million; unrestricted free agent in 2024
                                2. Fred VanVleet: $19.7 million; player option in 2023-24
                                3. Goran Dragic: $19.4 million; unrestricted free agent in 2022
                                4. OG Anunoby: $16.1 million; player option in 2024-25
                                5. Scottie Barnes: $7.3 million; restricted free agent in 2025
                                6. Chris Boucher: $7.2 million; unrestricted free agent in 2022
                                7. Precious Achiuwa: $2.7 million; restricted free agent in 2024
                                8. Malachi Flynn: $2.0 million; restricted free agent in 2024
                                9. Yuta Watanabe: $1.5 million; restricted free agent in 2022 ($375K guaranteed in 2021-22)
                                10. Freddie Gillespie: $1.5 million; restricted free agent in 2022 ($50K guaranteed in 2021-22)
                                11. Dalano Banton: $925K; restricted free agent in 2023 (non-guaranteed in 2022-23)
                                David Dow/NBAE via Getty ImagesTier 2: The trade assets are there. But how's the fit?
                                These four teams might have much of what Philadelphia would be seeking in exchange for Simmons. But there's a problem: The 25-year-old, three-time All-Star might create fit issues with each of them.

                                Besides all their draft picks, the Hawks have the contracts of Bogdan Bogdanovic and Danilo Gallinari and young players in Cam Reddish and De'Andre Hunter.

                                Adding Simmons would benefit Trae Young on both sides of the ball, but is there an appetite to take back the $147 million owed to Simmons?

                                Warriors owner Joe Lacob has already gone on the record, saying that Simmons is not a fit for the team's current roster.
                                The NBA on ESPN and the ESPN app

                                The 2021-22 NBA season tips off in October with a pair of star-studded doubleheaders on ESPN.

                                Wednesday, Oct. 20
                                Celtics at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. ET
                                Nuggets at Suns, 10 p.m. ET

                                Friday, Oct. 22
                                Nets at 76ers, 7:30 p.m. ET
                                Suns at Lakers, 10 p.m. ET

                                "In some ways, it doesn't really fit what we're doing," Lacob told the San Francisco Chronicle. "He makes a lot of money. And, can he finish games? I don't know. He's very talented. The problem is: We have Draymond. Draymond and him are very similar in the sense that neither one really shoots and they do a lot of the playmaking. That's one issue. The salary structure is another."

                                Lacob would eventually get fined $50,000 for his comments.

                                The Celtics, for their part, are likely not trading Jaylen Brown for Simmons and cannot move Marcus Smart because of extension restrictions in his contract that don't get lifted until Jan. 25.

                                Plus, would the 76ers really trade their second-best player to a conference rival?

                                And even though the Pelicans have the draft capital, their lone trade asset is Brandon Ingram. (They are not trading Zion Williamson).

                                If Ingram is not available, New Orleans would be short of contracts to make the numbers work.

                                Josh Hart can't be traded until Jan. 15, and recent signings Devonte' Graham and Garrett Temple can't be moved until Dec. 15.
                                Tier 3: Available: young players, draft assets, veterans. Unavailable: an impact player
                                Luka Doncic and Simmons would be an intriguing duo, but unless you consider Kristaps Porzingis as a valuable trade asset, the Mavericks have little on their roster that would entice the 76ers.

                                The Rockets check the box with draft assets, but the $92 million owed to former All-Star John Wall should come with a warning sticker.

                                The Grizzlies are in Tier 3 because they have some intriguing players in Dillon Brooks, Kyle Anderson and De'Anthony Melton, and they own all their own first-round picks, along with future firsts from Utah and Golden State. But we are removing Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. from any Simmons trade proposal.

                                Would those three players and draft picks be enough for Philadelphia? And would Memphis ownership be comfortable committing $147 million to Simmons, with Jackson eligible for an extension now and Morant next offseason?
                                Tier 4: Just not enough to get in the conversation
                                The Julius Randle extension, along with the free-agent signings of Evan Fournier, Derrick Rose, Alec Burks, Kemba Walker and Nerlens Noel, takes the Knicks off the board.

                                Each of the six players have a Dec. 15 trade restriction and cannot be moved.

                                And the Suns are not trading Devin Booker. They would have to gut their roster (Jae Crowder, Mikal Bridges, Dario Saric and Cameron Johnson) for any Simmons trade to work.
                                Tier 5: The no-chance group
                                The group of nine have either depleted their pool of draft assets or have All-Stars that fit better than Simmons. In other words: no chance.

                                For example, the Clippers are not trading Paul George for Simmons, nor do they have the right combination of draft picks and players to send to Philadelphia.
                                Last edited by Ozys Nepimpis; 10-01-2021, 07:18 AM.