Philadelphia 76ers: Why do teams think Ben Simmons is available?

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

After consistently coming up in talks over the Summer, the question has to be asked: Why do teams think the Philadelphia 76ers want to trade Ben Simmons?

Note to the NBA: Ben Simmons is untouchable.


Not untouchable in the same way that, say, a player like Devin Booker is due to his recently signed contract, LeBron James due to his standings, or Andrew Wiggins due to his albatross max deal, Simmons is untouchable because he has the potential to be the best player in the entire NBA, and at the tender age of 22, he’s just going to get better and better for the Philadelphia 76ers.

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So, why do teams keep asking for either Simmons or an equally untouchable Joel Embiid in trade conversations?

Not once, but twice this summer teams have requested one of the Sixers cornerstones in a potential deal for an outgoing, disgruntled star, first the San Antonio Spurs with Kawhi Leonard and then again this week with the Minnesota TimberwolvesJimmy Butler.

Now granted, Butler and Leonard are good players, great players actually, but neither have the generational potential of Simmons or Embiid.

Honestly, who does?

Back in July, The Ringers’ Danny Chau wrote an interesting exposé about Clint Capela’s role in Mike D’Antoni‘s offense, and in it, he described how the Rockets have consciously devalued 3-and-D wing players to instead spend the vast majority of their cap space on playmakers like James Harden and Chris Paul. While players like Luc Mbah a Moute and Trevor Ariza certainly helped to win games for the Rockets last year, replacing them with cheaper players like James Ennis and (a resigned) Gerald Green.

While adding a player like Butler or Leonard to the Sixers would certainly make the team better, giving up a generational talent for a position with questionable value is incredibly ineffective. I mean, the 76ers found their own 3-and-D defensive stud Robert Covington in the G-League after going undrafted out of college.

Covington at $16 million alongside Simmons is a whole lot better than Butler or even Leonard on a supermax regardless of how many draft picks are included in a deal.

Honestly, I doubt the Sixers would even trade Simmons for the (allegedly) best potential deal that arose for Leonard over the summer, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Kyle Kuzma.

Why trade the 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year who will almost certainly make his first All-Star game before his 23rd birthday for a collection of players who may never reach that level?

Next. GM Elton Brand gives Sixers insight on The Lowe Post. dark

No matter the trade offer, regardless of the size, teams dream of finding a generational, game-changing player either in the draft, through a trade, or in free agency, and through Sam Hinkie‘s meticulous, self-sabotaging gameplan, the Sixers now have two. While every team in the league would certainly be willing to put together a package to trade for either player, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid should be untouchable in every trade conversation the Philadelphia 76ers take part in moving forward. They are just that good.