Ben Simmons wants out of Philadelphia

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PedroKsBambino

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O'Connor mentions the Spurs----they are an interesting one to consider.

If you figure, for cap and value purposes, you start with Dejounte Murray and add in contracts (Aminu/Poeltl?) and a pick or two do you get there? I think that's not enough for Philly---do they need to add in Vassell? Johnson? It's not going to be Morey's ideal answer and you worry a bit that to give enough to Philly you hollow out the roster to a worrisome degree. Guess I'm not sure I see it in the end.
 

snowmanny

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Regarding the posts about different teams having different goals, I was going to ask if with Simmons part of the issue is whether he is simply a better regular season player than he is a playoff player. But I suppose that comes down to fit as well: that his role might be different in the playoffs but that might not matter depending on who else is out there with him.
 

Kliq

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The KOC article illuminates one of the key issues in how Simmons wants to be used vs what Philly thinks:

Rivers shared how he planned to use Simmons this upcoming season anyway: Embiid and Simmons would stagger minutes more often, and when Embiid came off the floor, Simmons would play the 5, sharing the frontcourt with Tobias Harris and new addition Georges Niang. Rivers said he wanted to put Simmons in more situations that resemble Giannis Antetokounmpo’s role in Milwaukee, with four shooters surrounding him, empowering him to be a primary scoring option with the second unit. Rivers and Morey, according to sources, said that Simmons and Embiid are the best defensive duo in basketball, and with some slight tweaks, they could be even more productive on the offensive end. Simmons wasn’t enthused.
It doesn't seem to me like Simmons really wants to be in the Giannis role. I hate the comparisons to Giannis; Simmons and Giannis have a similar player profile and are both excellent defenders, but they are very different players. Giannis is one of the most aggressive players in the league, and more explosive and significantly stronger than Simmons. Giannis is also a BAD shooter, not an unwilling one. I guess you can have your preference on which issue you think is more detrimental to a team, but give me the player that isn't afraid to shoot. Simmons is a better passer for sure, although I think Giannis is an underrated passer and commands double-teams in a way that Simmons does not, which makes playmaking easier.

Giannis also posts up and rolls to the rim a lot; he's more of a true big man while Simmons is more of a point guard. I think Simmons wants to be a PG and doesn't really want to be a Small Ball 5, even if that might be his best role. We see this kind of a lot; LeBron doesn't really want to play PF even if that is perhaps his best role. Davis didn't want to play Center, even if that is his best role. Simmons to me seems reluctant to wanting to play C, which is why playing more C is not that appealing to him.

Embiid isn't even really that bad of a fit with him. Embiid shot threes at a decent rate last season, and also has a reliable mid-range game that offers some spacing. It's not like Simmons is sharing the floor with a lane clogger like Rudy Gobert or DeAndre Jordan.
 

ElcaballitoMVP

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The KOC article illuminates one of the key issues in how Simmons wants to be used vs what Philly thinks:



It doesn't seem to me like Simmons really wants to be in the Giannis role. I hate the comparisons to Giannis; Simmons and Giannis have a similar player profile and are both excellent defenders, but they are very different players. Giannis is one of the most aggressive players in the league, and more explosive and significantly stronger than Simmons. Giannis is also a BAD shooter, not an unwilling one. I guess you can have your preference on which issue you think is more detrimental to a team, but give me the player that isn't afraid to shoot. Simmons is a better passer for sure, although I think Giannis is an underrated passer and commands double-teams in a way that Simmons does not, which makes playmaking easier.

Giannis also posts up and rolls to the rim a lot; he's more of a true big man while Simmons is more of a point guard. I think Simmons wants to be a PG and doesn't really want to be a Small Ball 5, even if that might be his best role. We see this kind of a lot; LeBron doesn't really want to play PF even if that is perhaps his best role. Davis didn't want to play Center, even if that is his best role. Simmons to me seems reluctant to wanting to play C, which is why playing more C is not that appealing to him.

Embiid isn't even really that bad of a fit with him. Embiid shot threes at a decent rate last season, and also has a reliable mid-range game that offers some spacing. It's not like Simmons is sharing the floor with a lane clogger like Rudy Gobert or DeAndre Jordan.
I wouldn't read that much into the article saying he was less than enthused at Doc's plan to use him. If he wants out, he wants out. Doc could say Ben has complete control over his minutes and role and it might not make a difference. Maybe he'd like the Giannis role on his own team. Kind of tough to tell if the guy just wants to get out.

He knows he's not playing that many minutes at the 5 in Philly anyway, and none of those are coming in crunch time when Embiid will be in the game. Then you get to the playoffs and Embiid plays even more minutes. I can see why he wouldn't be that excited about the idea. Put him in, say, Indiana, and he knows he's the guy and gets to play the Giannis role all the time, not just when the other star on the team is on the bench.
 

Cellar-Door

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The KOC article illuminates one of the key issues in how Simmons wants to be used vs what Philly thinks:



It doesn't seem to me like Simmons really wants to be in the Giannis role. I hate the comparisons to Giannis; Simmons and Giannis have a similar player profile and are both excellent defenders, but they are very different players. Giannis is one of the most aggressive players in the league, and more explosive and significantly stronger than Simmons. Giannis is also a BAD shooter, not an unwilling one. I guess you can have your preference on which issue you think is more detrimental to a team, but give me the player that isn't afraid to shoot. Simmons is a better passer for sure, although I think Giannis is an underrated passer and commands double-teams in a way that Simmons does not, which makes playmaking easier.

Giannis also posts up and rolls to the rim a lot; he's more of a true big man while Simmons is more of a point guard. I think Simmons wants to be a PG and doesn't really want to be a Small Ball 5, even if that might be his best role. We see this kind of a lot; LeBron doesn't really want to play PF even if that is perhaps his best role. Davis didn't want to play Center, even if that is his best role. Simmons to me seems reluctant to wanting to play C, which is why playing more C is not that appealing to him.
I took that as, that plan is much more similar to what he wants in terms of usage, but he's moved on, and...

1. If you see him that way why didn't you do that last year in the non-Embiid minutes.
2. As KOC points out, come crunch time and expanded playoff minutes the problem gets worse... Embiid is more lane-centered in the playoffs, you HAVE to play them together more. So 8 minutes a night in the regular season isn't a real change.

Simmons isn't Giannis, but you can use him similarly. As to bad vs. unwilling... I probably prefer bad, but it depends on volume and who else is on the team. I do think Simmons can demand doubles/rotations just because he's such a mismatch, guys can't guard him, so if you don't double he's gonna score. Now some teams may just let him score, but then he's still probably putting 25/8/7 on you every night. I mean, it's telling that everyone KNOWs he's going to get inside 10ft before he shoots, everyone plays him that way... an he still is putting up .560-.580 eFG% every year.

Regarding the posts about different teams having different goals, I was going to ask if with Simmons part of the issue is whether he is simply a better regular season player than he is a playoff player. But I suppose that comes down to fit as well: that his role might be different in the playoffs but that might not matter depending on who else is out there with him.
Simmons is definitely a worse playoff player, almost all bad FT shooters and subpar shooters are.. the defense tightens up, you get fouled more, coaches are more willing to intentionally foul. He could be as good if he eliminates the foul shooting issues. At his regular season 56% it's not as bad, if he can get to 70%, teams just won't intentionally foul, and he becomes a bigger lane threat.

On defense.... he's more valuable in the playoffs, where having elite man defenders is more valuable.

Overall, he's slightly less valuable, but if he can even somewhat improve his FT shooting he'll be around the same. It's not like he's Gobert, who just fundamentally gets schemed out on the end he's best at.
 

Kliq

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Simmons isn't Giannis, but you can use him similarly. As to bad vs. unwilling... I probably prefer bad, but it depends on volume and who else is on the team. I do think Simmons can demand doubles/rotations just because he's such a mismatch, guys can't guard him, so if you don't double he's gonna score. Now some teams may just let him score, but then he's still probably putting 25/8/7 on you every night. I mean, it's telling that everyone KNOWs he's going to get inside 10ft before he shoots, everyone plays him that way... an he still is putting up .560-.580 eFG% every year.
This will be my last post on this specific subject.

Simmons does not demand double-teams. Physically he would be a mismatch for most opponents given his size and the relative size of Philly in general compared to typical NBA teams, but he doesn't command double-teams because he isn't an aggressive scorer and never has been in the NBA. I don't think that changes if he stops sharing the floor with Embiid. The reason he doesn't score a lot of points, only shoots inside ten feet and puts up a solid eFG% is because he only shoots the ball when he has a lot of confidence that it is going in, to the detriment of his own team.
 

Euclis20

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Simmons averaged just over 14 ppg last year and was 66th in ppg among qualified scorers. He's not commanding any double teams, opponents will let him get his because he just doesn't score enough to burn anyone. He scored 25+ in a game just twice last year. His scoring efficiency looks great, until you compare it to the guys just above and below him in ppg:

Rudy Gobert: 65th in PPG, .683 TS%
Ben Simmons: 66th in PPG, .584 TS%
Richaun Holmes, 67th in PPG, .669 TS%

These aren't guys you game plan against on defense. Let them get their points. When Giannis looks to score, he should be compared to aggressive bulldozers in the paint like Shaq or LeBron. Simmons is a lot closer to Gobert or Holmes than those guys.
 

Cellar-Door

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Simmons averaged just over 14 ppg last year and was 66th in ppg among qualified scorers. He's not commanding any double teams, opponents will let him get his because he just doesn't score enough to burn anyone. He scored 25+ in a game just twice last year. His scoring efficiency looks great, until you compare it to the guys just above and below him in ppg:

Rudy Gobert: 65th in PPG, .683 TS%
Ben Simmons: 66th in PPG, .584 TS%
Richaun Holmes, 67th in PPG, .669 TS%

These aren't guys you game plan against on defense. Let them get their points. When Giannis looks to score, he should be compared to aggressive bulldozers in the paint like Shaq or LeBron. Simmons is a lot closer to Gobert or Holmes than those guys.
Last year was his worst though. The previous year he scored 16 on .580 efg% (which I think is better in this case, because you're looking for how dangerous he is on scoring rather than efficiency, you don't care that his FT% is bad or he doesn't shoot 3s when you decide whether to double). My feeling from watching them is that he got doubled a lot. Sadly can't tell for sure since NBA only releases the top 20 guys via second spectrum, and nobody I can find has written it up. (nobody on PHI makes the top 20). I get the thought process of comparing him to similar PPG guys, but those guys get their points a different way, Gobert almost exclusively scores as a roll man, not a driver and only limited post-ups, he doesn't have the ball. Simmons is a ball handler, looking at him in 2019-20, he was more like Dragic, Brogdon, Hayward in that year for scoring (though more efficient than them).

It's possible that Simmons in an offense tailored around him wouldn't draw doubles, but I kind of doubt it. As an example, Brogdon was the 17th most doubled player last year, VanVleet was also top 20. If Ben is getting the ball as the primary initiator/driver he's going to draw a good amount of doubles, it's just how most defenses play now. He's not gonna be Tray getting doubled 30 feet from he basket, but my guess is he'll be drawing players on a lot of his drives and opening shooters/cutters.
 

Euclis20

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Last year was his worst though. The previous year he scored 16 on .580 efg% (which I think is better in this case, because you're looking for how dangerous he is on scoring rather than efficiency, you don't care that his FT% is bad or he doesn't shoot 3s when you decide whether to double). My feeling from watching them is that he got doubled a lot. Sadly can't tell for sure since NBA only releases the top 20 guys via second spectrum, and nobody I can find has written it up. (nobody on PHI makes the top 20). I get the thought process of comparing him to similar PPG guys, but those guys get their points a different way, Gobert almost exclusively scores as a roll man, not a driver and only limited post-ups, he doesn't have the ball. Simmons is a ball handler, looking at him in 2019-20, he was more like Dragic, Brogdon, Hayward in that year for scoring (though more efficient than them).

It's possible that Simmons in an offense tailored around him wouldn't draw doubles, but I kind of doubt it. As an example, Brogdon was the 17th most doubled player last year, VanVleet was also top 20. If Ben is getting the ball as the primary initiator/driver he's going to draw a good amount of doubles, it's just how most defenses play now. He's not gonna be Tray getting doubled 30 feet from he basket, but my guess is he'll be drawing players on a lot of his drives and opening shooters/cutters.
Two years ago he was still 59th in ppg, and that's not taking into account that he plays a lot of minutes, relatively speaking. In 19-20, per 100 possessions (among qualified players), he was 97th in scoring, between Will Barton and 35 year old Melo. It's interesting that Brogdon was doubled so frequently last year, but he was 31st in scoring per 100 possessions. That's not in same neighborhood as Simmons (111th in points per 100 possessions last year). Oddly enough, Embiid was first overall in points per 100 possessions last year.

Simmons isn't remotely aggressive enough to demand regular double teams. Maybe that changes with an offense geared around his strengths, but it's not like he'd be the focal point of an offense on the Warriors or Wolves either.

As an aside, why use eFG% instead of TS%? I'm always using the latter for scoring efficiency because it takes into account free throws, but maybe I'm missing something.
 

Euclis20

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All that to say: Any scoring comparisons between Giannis and Simmons are ridiculous. They are about the same size, can be physically overwhelming in the paint and are poor shooters from outside and from the FT line, but that's it. Giannis scores nearly twice as often (Simmons averaged 22.5 points per 100 possessions over the last 3 years, Giannis averaged 41.1) at a far more efficient rate (Simmons' TS% over the last 3 years was .589, Giannis was .630).
 

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All that to say: Any scoring comparisons between Giannis and Simmons are ridiculous. They are about the same size, can be physically overwhelming in the paint and are poor shooters from outside and from the FT line, but that's it. Giannis scores nearly twice as often (Simmons averaged 22.5 points per 100 possessions over the last 3 years, Giannis averaged 41.1) at a far more efficient rate (Simmons' TS% over the last 3 years was .589, Giannis was .630).
Rivers putting Giannis and Simmons in the same sentence is surely just damage control -- it was Doc, after all, who refused to affirm that he could win a ring with Simmons.

Seems like every coach who faces Philly should put in a Hack-a-Ben game plan once Simmons get into the lane. And when he is outside the lane, slag off and concede the jumper that Simmons will probably refuse to shoot.

And if you foul Simmons, that's one less possession for Embiid, with the only price being .6 points and getting into the penalty eventually.. Really, how much defense is worth that?
 

PedroKsBambino

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Rivers putting Giannis and Simmons in the same sentence is surely just damage control -- it was Doc, after all, who refused to affirm that he could win a ring with Simmons.

Seems like every coach who faces Philly should put in a Hack-a-Ben game plan once Simmons get into the lane. And when he is outside the lane, slag off and concede the jumper that Simmons will probably refuse to shoot.

And if you foul Simmons, that's one less possession for Embiid, with the only price being .6 points and getting into the penalty eventually.. Really, how much defense is worth that?
That's fair, though Simmons is really good at everything else not just defense: he's an elite passer and creator, and a very good rebounder in addition to being one of the 2-3 best defensive players in the league. That's still valuable.

I do agree with several who have asked about the playoff implications, and that is where I think his value really gets tougher---good teams, who can can game-plan around his gaps, really make one wonder if he's even a third guy on a championship team. But he can certainly be a top-two guy on a solid playoff team, in my view.
 

Cellar-Door

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All that to say: Any scoring comparisons between Giannis and Simmons are ridiculous. They are about the same size, can be physically overwhelming in the paint and are poor shooters from outside and from the FT line, but that's it. Giannis scores nearly twice as often (Simmons averaged 22.5 points per 100 possessions over the last 3 years, Giannis averaged 41.1) at a far more efficient rate (Simmons' TS% over the last 3 years was .589, Giannis was .630).
Yeah, SImmons is not Giannis as a scorer, I don't think anyone is saying he is, both KOC (and I) noted he doesn't score like him. The question was if you used Simmons like MIL uses Giannis could it be effective. He'd score less but his passing would make up some of it (not all, nobody thinks he's gonna be the MVP).

I also think raw scoring isn't a useful comparison overall though, because Simmons is asking for a different role specifically because he wants to be used more like other scorers. If you were making the case for it, you'd use 2018-19 and 2019-20, where Simmons averaged around 21 per 36 min in games where Embiid didn't play (probably translates to like 29/100pos), that's around top 35 or so in the league (Jaylen Brown levels in 19-20), and his camp probably would make the case that an offense built for him ticks that up. Simmons is probably never going to be an MVP level scorer, but his team thinks if he goes to a team built for him he's going to be a DeRozan/Siakam/Butler level scorer, but with top end passing and elite D. That's the thought process anyway.
 

nighthob

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What It hink is being missed is what I like to call the "Nate Duncan fallacy" which is that all teams are the same in goals and situation and style at all points in time . That makes for easy analysis of the league and any team, but it's regularly off when you think it through against a specific team at a specific point in time given their real market situation and ownership preferences. So sure, in the abstract from the perspective of a big market team who wants to win a title you don't want to trade for Simmons unless he's the missing piece for a title. But that profile doesn't fit everyone, and the variance is where the opportunity is likely to lie for Morey.
No, that's not what's going on here. Simmons is a very unique player, which makes him incredibly difficult to build around. What we're doing is trying to find teams where he can be the dominant offensive player without being required to score. There are very few teams that he fits into easily. While many cellar dwellers would roll the dice on him, they don't have anything that Philly wants. So deals just don't work there. (Keep in mind last year when Philly was trying to get Harden without including Simmons (a moronic decision to be sure) I had said that Simmons best use for Houston would be being sent to OKC to get their draft picks back with a pick or two thrown in.)

I agree with you WBCD---and also agree with you the MPJ contract demonstrates the same. MPJ is at least as flawed a player overall as Simmons (thought their flaws are wildly different, nearly opposite) and just got the same contract.
He got the same contract in theory only. Denver made him a designated deal in order to sign him to a five year contract, but unless he makes All NBA or All D (I have better odds of winning tonight's Powerball than MPJ does of making either squad) then he's getting a 25% Max deal, not Simmons 30%.

I also posted an article (earlier) that in the playoffs, opposing teams shot 57% from 3P when MPJ was "guarding" the shooter.
He's definitely on the wrong squad. In an alternate universe where Boston doesn't make the Kyrie deal and picks Porter over SGA (which we can all agree doesn't likely happen as SGA is a Danny wet dream) Porter is playing the 4/5 for Boston. And mostly the C spot. Then despite the defensive issues Boston is bombing the opposition to death. In Denver, paired with Jokic, the defensive problems are multiplied. Combined with Murray they need to win games the Doug Moe way. (For you young'uns Moe was the guy that once answered the question about his squad being the worst defensive team in the NBA, "Were not the worst defensive team in the league, our opponents are.")

Honestly they'd be best served trying to find a third team to work out a deal where Jokic is outbound and Simmons inbound and use BS and MPJ as the interchangeable 4/5 combo. Porter's not designed for perimeter D (really long legs and, as a result, a really high center of gravity, married to very stiff hips), he belongs at the five anyway. Not that his backline defense would be a lot better, but having a center that can bomb like that basically renders guys like Gobert useless.

If you figure, for cap and value purposes, you start with Dejounte Murray and add in contracts (Aminu/Poeltl?) and a pick or two do you get there? I think that's not enough for Philly---do they need to add in Vassell? Johnson? It's not going to be Morey's ideal answer and you worry a bit that to give enough to Philly you hollow out the roster to a worrisome degree. Guess I'm not sure I see it in the end.
San Antonio definitely makes sense as a Simmons destination, from the Spurs POV. From Philly's POV it's a little rougher unless they really believe in Vassell going forward. The Spurs have a lot of roleplayers on that roster. So they'd probably need to empty the pick bank to make a deal work.

Regarding the posts about different teams having different goals, I was going to ask if with Simmons part of the issue is whether he is simply a better regular season player than he is a playoff player. But I suppose that comes down to fit as well: that his role might be different in the playoffs but that might not matter depending on who else is out there with him.
Simmons is definitely more a regular season player than playoff one. Once defense tightens up he morphs into a defensive roleplayer. An elite one to be sure, but it does tend to set a bound on where your team can get to.

Simmons isn't Giannis, but you can use him similarly. ... I do think Simmons can demand doubles/rotations just because he's such a mismatch, guys can't guard him, so if you don't double he's gonna score. Now some teams may just let him score, but then he's still probably putting 25/8/7 on you every night. I mean, it's telling that everyone KNOWs he's going to get inside 10ft before he shoots, everyone plays him that way... an he still is putting up .560-.580 eFG% every year.
Simmons barely commands a single team, much less a double. When everyone knows that you won't shoot outside the paint they just wall off the interior. This forces Embiid to move further away from the rim in order to create passing angles for Simmons.

Simmons does not demand double-teams. Physically he would be a mismatch for most opponents given his size and the relative size of Philly in general compared to typical NBA teams, but he doesn't command double-teams because he isn't an aggressive scorer and never has been in the NBA. I don't think that changes if he stops sharing the floor with Embiid. The reason he doesn't score a lot of points, only shoots inside ten feet and puts up a solid eFG% is because he only shoots the ball when he has a lot of confidence that it is going in, to the detriment of his own team.
I mean his playoff panic attack while sitting alone underneath the basket speaks worlds about where his head is at.
 

Euclis20

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Yeah, SImmons is not Giannis as a scorer, I don't think anyone is saying he is, both KOC (and I) noted he doesn't score like him. The question was if you used Simmons like MIL uses Giannis could it be effective. He'd score less but his passing would make up some of it (not all, nobody thinks he's gonna be the MVP).

I also think raw scoring isn't a useful comparison overall though, because Simmons is asking for a different role specifically because he wants to be used more like other scorers. If you were making the case for it, you'd use 2018-19 and 2019-20, where Simmons averaged around 21 per 36 min in games where Embiid didn't play (probably translates to like 29/100pos), that's around top 35 or so in the league (Jaylen Brown levels in 19-20), and his camp probably would make the case that an offense built for him ticks that up. Simmons is probably never going to be an MVP level scorer, but his team thinks if he goes to a team built for him he's going to be a DeRozan/Siakam/Butler level scorer, but with top end passing and elite D. That's the thought process anyway.
Giannis has a unique skillset, and while Simmons is certainly his own archetype, it's not on the same level. Would Simmons be a more effective player if he were used like Giannis? Most likely. Would a team built around Simmons be a title contender, like the way the Bucks built around Giannis? We don't have any evidence that he's that sort of player, which is ultimately the problem with Simmons. I can't imagine any title team alphas turtling the way he has in the playoffs, ever (for a game or two sure. Not for an entire series). If he's not good enough to be the best player on a title team, you can't build a team just around his skills. He's got the potential to be a #2 or great #3 on a title team, but his skillset is too rigid to fit into many situations. Where does that leave his value?
 

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I mean his playoff panic attack while sitting alone underneath the basket speaks worlds about where his head is at.
I know this is how his performance has been psychoanalyzed, but is there any chance that he instead quit on Philly like Kyrie did on us?
 

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I know this is how his performance has been psychoanalyzed, but is there any chance that he instead quit on Philly like Kyrie did on us?
He got FT yips. Now there was some element of "fuck it, I'm not getting fouled, you take this" on the shots he passed up, but no, even as someone who thinks he'd be really good elsewhere, he started missing FTs and it snowballed. The fans being all over him and his Coach and teammate lining up over who got to throw him under the bus probably didn't help, but that was a really bad playoff series.
 

PedroKsBambino

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No, that's not what's going on here. Simmons is a very unique player, which makes him incredibly difficult to build around. What we're doing is trying to find teams where he can be the dominant offensive player without being required to score. There are very few teams that he fits into easily. While many cellar dwellers would roll the dice on him, they don't have anything that Philly wants. So deals just don't work there. (Keep in mind last year when Philly was trying to get Harden without including Simmons (a moronic decision to be sure) I had said that Simmons best use for Houston would be being sent to OKC to get their draft picks back with a pick or two thrown in.)
I don't agree that he only fits a few teams---you're assuming that is what he wants (I don't disagree, but note it is unclear) and even so, the reality is that given how much is left on his contract he has less say. I also don't think you are committing the Nate Duncan Fallacy, you certainly are looking at each team's specific situation.
 

mauf

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The KOC article illuminates one of the key issues in how Simmons wants to be used vs what Philly thinks:



It doesn't seem to me like Simmons really wants to be in the Giannis role. I hate the comparisons to Giannis; Simmons and Giannis have a similar player profile and are both excellent defenders, but they are very different players. Giannis is one of the most aggressive players in the league, and more explosive and significantly stronger than Simmons. Giannis is also a BAD shooter, not an unwilling one. I guess you can have your preference on which issue you think is more detrimental to a team, but give me the player that isn't afraid to shoot. Simmons is a better passer for sure, although I think Giannis is an underrated passer and commands double-teams in a way that Simmons does not, which makes playmaking easier.

Giannis also posts up and rolls to the rim a lot; he's more of a true big man while Simmons is more of a point guard. I think Simmons wants to be a PG and doesn't really want to be a Small Ball 5, even if that might be his best role. We see this kind of a lot; LeBron doesn't really want to play PF even if that is perhaps his best role. Davis didn't want to play Center, even if that is his best role. Simmons to me seems reluctant to wanting to play C, which is why playing more C is not that appealing to him.

Embiid isn't even really that bad of a fit with him. Embiid shot threes at a decent rate last season, and also has a reliable mid-range game that offers some spacing. It's not like Simmons is sharing the floor with a lane clogger like Rudy Gobert or DeAndre Jordan.
Even Anthony Davis doesn’t want to play the 5. No good player with the skills to play elsewhere does, at least during the regular season. Banging against the other team’s 5 night after night wears you down physically, especially when you’re undersized.

I think Doc is right to explore playing Embiid and Simmons together less often — most good teams would do well not to run a true second unit as often as they do. But it would be a lot more appealing to Simmons, I’m guessing, if the Sixers signed a backup 5 who can stretch the floor (someone like Jerebko was for the C’s a few years back) so Simmons could have a less physically taxing defensive assignment during those second-team minutes.

Of course, 5s who stretch the floor don’t grow on trees, which is one reason why the undersized 5 option is so appealing in the first place.
 

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I don't agree that he only fits a few teams---you're assuming that is what he wants (I don't disagree, but note it is unclear) and even so, the reality is that given how much is left on his contract he has less say. I also don't think you are committing the Nate Duncan Fallacy, you certainly are looking at each team's specific situation.
No one cares what Ben Simmons wants, he’s a guy that can’t and won’t shoot, but that needs the ball in his hands to have any offensive impact at all. He can’t play off the ball. Like, at all.

So the question is how do you build a team around a guy like that? He would fit with Durant or Tatum, because they’re apex scorers that can torture opponents off the ball. But guys like that are the biggest rarity around. KATman is a close approximation, so Minnesota’s certainly a possibility. Denver with Porter and Murray would work as a destination, but it would require a three way deal with Jokic going to a third team for something Philly needs to contend now.

Cellar dwellers would roll the dice, but what do they have that Philly would want? I guess SGA for Simmons would work. Cleveland? Do they really have anything that Philly would want? Would they deal with Toronto? Siakam and Barnes might work (assuming that Philly could turn Barnes into a playmaking G). It’s just not easy to find the right fit. Morey really screwed the pooch holding out to drive the price down on Harden. He’s going to get a lot less now.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Yeah, you are just thinking about this characteristically narrowly. Simmons is an asset, albeit an imperfect one. There's plenty of teams who would be better with him. I agree with you they are not all perfect fits for both the team and him; that doesn't change lots of teams would like to add him, though.

I do not agree Morey had different options earlier--his problem is that he values Simmons highly and other teams value him a bit less highly, and as you and I each noted there are many challenges in finding a perfect fit. As many reports have noted, there's plenty of market for him. The question is who can offer the specific assets Morey wants (near-term impact) I think it's very likely the challenge is primarily about the type of assets Morey wants, not about the fit with other teams (though those intersect to a degree)

Also, it's pretty tough to argue both that the problem is Simmons' game (which hasn't changed this summer) and that Morey should have acted sooner. That is why the likely answer is not about Simmons but rather Morey's asset preferences.
 
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TripleOT

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Minnesota is the best fit for Simmons. If Russell wasn’t besties with KAT, a package of Russell and Beasley and picks could work for Philly.
 

benhogan

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Tony C

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Embiid sure does like the sound of his voice, but isn't the strategic thing to shut up and let it play out? Not that I disagree with JE, but it seems to me it ain't over until it's over -- stranger things have happened than a guy like Simmons deciding to report or some other twist happening.

Probably doesn't matter a whit....but there's a reason for coachspeak and whatever the player equivalent is. Not sure what the angle is to the post playoff series comments or these.
 

Jimbodandy

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Embiid sure does like the sound of his voice, but isn't the strategic thing to shut up and let it play out? Not that I disagree with JE, but it seems to me it ain't over until it's over -- stranger things have happened than a guy like Simmons deciding to report or some other twist happening.

Probably doesn't matter a whit....but there's a reason for coachspeak and whatever the player equivalent is. Not sure what the angle is to the post playoff series comments or these.
Of course Morey and the FO asked everyone to avoid saying shit that drives Simmons’ trade value down...but that doesn't mean that Embiid is gonna play ball (or be consistent about it). He's the star, and he moved on from Ben before the series was over. There's only so much polite small talk that a man can handle. Trading Ben is Morey's job, not his.

Of course getting a better return helps Joel's long-term goals too, but doesn't make participating in the charade easy.
 

ElUno20

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I love Embiid barking, talking so much shit, like he isnt also a perpetual disappointment. Last i remember, his ass was getting busted too vs Atlanta
 

Euclis20

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I love Embiid barking, talking so much shit, like he isnt also a perpetual disappointment. Last i remember, his ass was getting busted too vs Atlanta
He's got his own issues for sure (conditioning being #1), but in the 4 losses to Atlanta, Embiid averaged 31 points, 14.5 rebounds and 4 assists per game. The Sixers were +22 in about 155 minutes with Embiid on the floor and -39 in 37 minutes with him on the bench. The best player always gets the blame when the team disappoints in the playoffs, but that loss wasn't on Embiid.
 

johnmd20

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Embiid sure does like the sound of his voice, but isn't the strategic thing to shut up and let it play out? Not that I disagree with JE, but it seems to me it ain't over until it's over -- stranger things have happened than a guy like Simmons deciding to report or some other twist happening.

Probably doesn't matter a whit....but there's a reason for coachspeak and whatever the player equivalent is. Not sure what the angle is to the post playoff series comments or these.
I am sure Embiid is like, "Fuck Ben Simmons, the guy refused to take a shot in the final quarter of four straight playoff games."

How frustrated would you be to have your season end because the supposed "all world" point guard was passing up dunks and scared to shoot the ball in almost 50 minutes of crunch time? And then after this, the "all world" point guard was making demands of the team, like he carried the team the entire year and the loss was squarely on all of the other players?

Fuck Ben Simmons. This is ridiculous. I can't believe anyone could defend Simmons here. He's got a 4 year deal. He has regressed over the past couple of seasons. He literally does not shoot. And he famously flamed out against a very poor Atlanta team, costing his team a chance to advance in the playoffs. And despite and after all of this, he's acting like he's Lebron in 2010. It's comical.
 

lovegtm

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I am sure Embiid is like, "Fuck Ben Simmons, the guy refused to take a shot in the final quarter of four straight playoff games."

How frustrated would you be to have your season end because the supposed "all world" point guard was passing up dunks and scared to shoot the ball in almost 50 minutes of crunch time? And then after this, the "all world" point guard was making demands of the team, like he carried the team the entire year and the loss was squarely on all of the other players?

Fuck Ben Simmons. This is ridiculous. I can't believe anyone could defend Simmons here. He's got a 4 year deal. He has regressed over the past couple of seasons. He literally does not shoot. And he famously flamed out against a very poor Atlanta team, costing his team a chance to advance in the playoffs. And despite and after all of this, he's acting like he's Lebron in 2010. It's comical.
Literally everyone here is disappointed in his progression over the past few seasons; no one is saying things have gone great for him. Everyone thinks he shat the bed against Atlanta.

He seems willing to eat the salary he's owed just to not play in Philadelphia. What is your alternative solution? Physically force him to take the court? Or do you just want to be Righteously Indignant Online?
 

johnmd20

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Literally everyone here is disappointed in his progression over the past few seasons; no one is saying things have gone great for him. Everyone thinks he shat the bed against Atlanta.

He seems willing to eat the salary he's owed just to not play in Philadelphia. What is your alternative solution? Physically force him to take the court? Or do you just want to be Righteously Indignant Online?
Ummmmm. So then Embiid is right and in my quote post to Tony C, I expressed the fact that I can see why Joel is frustrated with Simmons and it's maybe why Embiid is talking about it.

And I appreciate you making that Righteously Indignant quip while being similarly Righteous. That's good branding right there.
 

Jimbodandy

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Ummmmm. So then Embiid is right and in my quote post to Tony C, I expressed the fact that I can see why Joel is frustrated with Simmons and it's maybe why Embiid is talking about it.

And I appreciate you making that Righteously Indignant quip while being similarly Righteous. That's good branding right there.
You expressed that you can see why Embiid is frustrated (agree there), but then went on a "fuck Ben Simmons" tirade.

If the situation is untenable going forward, what then should Simmons do? Seems like a fair question.
 

Smokey Joe

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You expressed that you can see why Embiid is frustrated (agree there), but then went on a "fuck Ben Simmons" tirade.

If the situation is untenable going forward, what then should Simmons do? Seems like a fair question.
Try to improve his game? See a sports psychologist? Apologize to his teammates and fans? Come into training camp angry at the situation and vowing to show the world that he is not the player that the media has painted him to be? Fire his enabler? I mean agent?

These are all better choices then the road he is taking. I hope he may be doing some of them behind the scenes. But I doubt it.
 

Gash Prex

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Simmons is of course being a huge baby and with 4 years left on his contact and his regression in the playoffs, he is in no position to complain...BUT in my opinion, Philadelphia bears some substantial amount of responsibility as they were unable to help him become a better player the last few years with his shooting and fit in the team. Accommodating Simmons since his arrival in the league and even letting Butler go because of it just made the problem worse. This should have been handled the first 1-2 years in his league one way or another - Philly sticking its head in the sand and pretending this would never be a problem lead the Sixers to today.
 

Cellar-Door

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Try to improve his game? See a sports psychologist? Apologize to his teammates and fans? Come into training camp angry at the situation and vowing to show the world that he is not the player that the media has painted him to be? Fire his enabler? I mean agent?

These are all better choices then the road he is taking. I hope he may be doing some of them behind the scenes. But I doubt it.
Nah, he should get out of town. Simmons has many flaws, all of which he should work on, but the coach and his team's star both threw him under the bus at every opportunity, and the GM tried to trade him then lied about it. That situation is broken, and everyone involved should just move on.

Also, as Gash points out, PHI knows who Simmons is, they've known for years. You can't suddenly be "shocked" at his inability to shoot and blame it for your problems, but simultaneously say "oh we want to build around him", he knows the drill, if they fail he's always going to get the blame, so there is no reason for him to stay. Also... I really don't think Simmons is why they let go of Butler. It's a fun story, but they let him go because the coach hated him, he was disruptive and he had a similar problem to everywhere else, he wants to be the alpha but probably isn't really good enough. They didn't get rid of him to accomodate Simmons as much as because he brings many of the same issues with Embiid (he needs the ball in crunch time because he can't shoot), and the 3 was a mess yes, but any 2 of the 3 is a mess too.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Simmons is of course being a huge baby and with 4 years left on his contact and his regression in the playoffs, he is in no position to complain...BUT in my opinion, Philadelphia bears some substantial amount of responsibility as they were unable to help him become a better player the last few years with his shooting and fit in the team. Accommodating Simmons since his arrival in the league and even letting Butler go because of it just made the problem worse. This should have been handled the first 1-2 years in his league one way or another - Philly sticking its head in the sand and pretending this would never be a problem lead the Sixers to today.
Embiid, Rivers and Morey are being huge cry babies too though. If I were Simmons, the only solution is being traded.

Why would you want to work for people who don't appreciate you and throw you under the boss in public? Why does he have to take the higher road when his teammate his still throwing him under the bus in public?

If Simmons goes back to the 76ers, he has no pride at all.

edit: Quoted the wrong person. Meant to quote Smokey Joe but wanted to comment on the cry baby thing.
 

Jimbodandy

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Nah, he should get out of town. Simmons has many flaws, all of which he should work on, but the coach and his team's star both threw him under the bus at every opportunity, and the GM tried to trade him then lied about it. That situation is broken, and everyone involved should just move on.
This.

I'm as bearish on Ben as anyone here. He hasn't shown the real improvement and "leaps" that most young guys show in their first few years. It doesn't reflect well on him imo.

However, the way that his alpha teammate and experienced coach threw him under the bus post-game was unprecedented (at least for performance reasons alone) and honestly shocking. The situation IS untenable. And while his agent could probably be handling it better (less public flexing, more behind-the-scenes maneuvering), Ben was never coming back to Philly. Nor should he.

Edit: also what CC said
 

Kliq

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I have no problem with what Embiid said. Embiid understands how Philly has tried to build their team around Simmons' weaknesses, had to expand his own game and take more three pointers than he may have wanted so that Simmons can drive to the hoop and maybe-not-shoot. If he does believe that holding on to Simmons cost them at resigning Butler, that would also make sense. Then Simmons throws up all over himself in the playoffs and Philly comes up short AGAIN. Now you have to hear from Simmons' camp that he wants out and that he doesn't think him and Embiid can play together and that Embiid just isn't the right fit with Simmons, after Embiid has toughed out the Ben Simmons experience for years? He went easy on Simmons to be honest, he could have been much tougher on him.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I have no problem with what Embiid said. Embiid understands how Philly has tried to build their team around Simmons' weaknesses, had to expand his own game and take more three pointers than he may have wanted so that Simmons can drive to the hoop and maybe-not-shoot. If he does believe that holding on to Simmons cost them at resigning Butler, that would also make sense. Then Simmons throws up all over himself in the playoffs and Philly comes up short AGAIN. Now you have to hear from Simmons' camp that he wants out and that he doesn't think him and Embiid can play together and that Embiid just isn't the right fit with Simmons, after Embiid has toughed out the Ben Simmons experience for years? He went easy on Simmons to be honest, he could have been much tougher on him.
I have no problem with what Embiid said either, but those words have consequences. Those consequences are bye bye Ben.
 

Cellar-Door

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I have no problem with what Embiid said. Embiid understands how Philly has tried to build their team around Simmons' weaknesses, had to expand his own game and take more three pointers than he may have wanted so that Simmons can drive to the hoop and maybe-not-shoot. If he does believe that holding on to Simmons cost them at resigning Butler, that would also make sense. Then Simmons throws up all over himself in the playoffs and Philly comes up short AGAIN. Now you have to hear from Simmons' camp that he wants out and that he doesn't think him and Embiid can play together and that Embiid just isn't the right fit with Simmons, after Embiid has toughed out the Ben Simmons experience for years? He went easy on Simmons to be honest, he could have been much tougher on him.
Maybe, but... it's also true that they aren't a good fit and literally everyone not employed by the Sixers has been saying it for years. Embiid got huffy about it because he loves drama and attention (most stars do), and honestly what he's trying to do is say that he wants Ben back, while doing it in a way that ensures he gets traded. Embiid doesn't want Simmons back, he wanted him gone last year during the Harden trade possibilites and everyone (including Ben) knows it. Embiid is smart enough and media savvy enough to know exactly how this would be spun, he doesn't want to be seen as the bad guy but he also does not want Simmons back at all, and is doing what he can to make the situation less tenable (it already was probably untenable) while being able to say "oh we wanted him back, shame he got traded"
 

Euclis20

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This.

I'm as bearish on Ben as anyone here. He hasn't shown the real improvement and "leaps" that most young guys show in their first few years. It doesn't reflect well on him imo.

However, the way that his alpha teammate and experienced coach threw him under the bus post-game was unprecedented (at least for performance reasons alone) and honestly shocking. The situation IS untenable. And while his agent could probably be handling it better (less public flexing, more behind-the-scenes maneuvering), Ben was never coming back to Philly. Nor should he.

Edit: also what CC said
Agreed that the post-game comments from Embiid and Rivers were pretty unbelievable in their brutal honesty, but I'd argue it wasn't for performance reasons. They didn't say what they said because Ben had a bad game or series (if he'd shot 2-30 from the 3 point line, I doubt their comments would've been as rough), they said it because they were tired of literally begging for him to shoot for years (not an excuse for Rivers, but it works for Embiid). Simmons essentially walked off the court in the most important moments of their season, in spirit at least.

Simmons needs out of Philly to have any shot at improving, but the team's comments after the loss to Atlanta wasn't the only thing unprecedented about that situation.
 

Cellar-Door

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Agreed that the post-game comments from Embiid and Rivers were pretty unbelievable in their brutal honesty, but I'd argue it wasn't for performance reasons. They didn't say what they said because Ben had a bad game or series (if he'd shot 2-30 from the 3 point line, I doubt their comments would've been as rough), they said it because they were tired of literally begging for him to shoot for years (not an excuse for Rivers, but it works for Embiid). Simmons essentially walked off the court in the most important moments of their season, in spirit at least.

Simmons needs out of Philly to have any shot at improving, but the team's comments after the loss to Atlanta wasn't the only thing unprecedented about that situation.
Doc was desperately searching for someone to blame after his team underperformed in the playoffs for about the 10th straight season.

Edit- people forgot it in the Simmons stuff but former players and people around the league were calling out Doc pretty hard about his teams constant under-performance in the playoffs.
 
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