Philadelphia 76ers: Golden State doesn’t have a viable Ben Simmons trade package

Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

Welp, the line has (sort of) officially been drawn in the sand: Ben Simmons had cut off communication with the Philadelphia 76ers and would accept a trade to Golden State but doesn’t particularly want to play for Portland or Toronto.

*phew* a lot to unpack there.

First and foremost, Simmons really doesn’t have much say in where he is traded (as Jason Dumas pointed out in his tweet). He’s under contract for the next four years and has nothing in the way of player options to try to force the team’s hand one way or another outside of straight-up refusing to play.

Would Simmons really hold out like a darn football player to avoid having to play for a team like Sacramento? I could think of 30 million reasons why that’s a bad idea.

No, while one could break down ad nauseam why Portland and Toronto may not be high on Simmons’ list, let’s take a look at the team he actually would be okay with being traded to, the Golden State Warriors, and see if they have a package that fits the Philadelphia 76ers’ needs.

*spoiler alert* probably not.

Golden State just doesn’t have a package that fits the Philadelphia 76ers’ needs.

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Once upon a time, there was a different professional basketball team that called the City of Brotherly Love home, the Philadelphia Warriors.

The Warriors came were the OGs, a squad berthed in Philly in 1946 and notorious for being Wilt Chamberlain‘s team when he scored 100 points right down the street from my Hershey, Pennsylvania home.

The Sixers, by contrast, didn’t arrive until 1963, after a 14-year tenure as the Nationals in Syracuse.

While the two teams were never rivals rivals, as the Warriors left for the Bay before the very same season the then-Nationals arrived in Philadelphia, there was some tension between the two squads early on, as Chamberlain forced a trade back to his hometown after a 38 game stint in San Francisco.

What, you may ask, did the Sixers have to surrender to secure the services of one the best players in NBA history? Connie Dierking, Paul Neumann, Lee Shaffer and cash.

Who? Exactly.

Since that fateful franchisanal double-dribble back in the mid-60s, the Sixers and Warrior haven’t really been all that connected. Sure, they play each other from time to time, have made trades – most recently centered around Glenn Robinson and Alec Burks – and been about as connected as any other set of non-conference foes in the NBA has to offer, but their relationship hasn’t been particularly noteworthy over the last 60-70ish years.

If, however, the Sixers opt to trade Ben Simmons to Golden State Warrior for a package of players – sans Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, who are off the table – the futures of said franchises could be forever intertwined; a Wilt Chamberlain-esque future re-setter for the modern-era.

Don’t believe me? Well, think about it this way: The Warriors’ Big 3 has an average age of 32, with Curry the team’s elder statesman at 33 and Draymond Green the baby of the bunch at 31. While the team does have a collection of younger options who could help to fill in the gaps when those players are no longer in their primes, from lottery picks like James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody – plus non-lottery picks like Jordan Poole – and drinking-age performers like Andrew Wiggins, Kevon Looney, and Seth Curry’s brother-in-law, Damion Lee, none are of the generational variety or worthy of building a team around.

Ben Simmons, for all of his flaws, is.

I know, I know, to some, Simmons is a certified bum who won’t work on his game and wouldn’t be in the NBA if he wasn’t the proud owner of the more unique athletic profile in the world right now. If you feel that way, there’s nothing I can say to convince you otherwise, but for many a GM around the Association, landing a player who could be a jump shot away from LeBron James territory is still incredibly intriguing, even if he never reaching that lofty ceiling.

If the Warriors can secure Simmons and use him as an offensive distributor with Curry and Thompson serving as the best wing shooting options in the business, Steve Kerr’s club could be back in the playoffs before we know it and have the infrastructure in place to remain competitive long after their Big 3 transition into Subway salesmen full time.

But do the Warrior have a package interesting enough to get Simmons away from the Sixers in a two team trade?


As things presently stand, the Warriors’ best trade chip is James Wiseman. I like James Wiseman; he’s a good player build for the modern-day NBA, but what is the one position the Sixers don’t need? Center. Even if the team didn’t just secure Andre Drummond on a steal of a one-year, vet minimum deal, they still have the best center in the business under contract and would at most be giving Wiseman 18-ish minutes of action a night as a backup 5.

Could the Sixers secure a solid return for Wiseman via trade? Potentially so, but if that’s the case, why not just trade Simmons for a package they prefer?

How about the Warriors’ newest first-round draftees, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody? While I’m sure the duo are nice young men and will have great NBA careers, neither are plug-and-play contributors who can help Embiid win a lot of games in the interim. Considering Embiid is 27-years-old with a defined runway of about a half-decade to capitalize on his prime, wasting even a season or two waiting on Kuminga and Moody to develop just doesn’t make sense.

And what about Wiggins? While Wiggins did play pretty well in a new 3-and-D role with the Warriors over the past season and a half, he isn’t a point guard, has never averaged even four assists a game over a full season, and just isn’t the sort of 1b Philly would want to pair up with Embiid and Tobias Harris long-term. Factor in the, well, fact that the Timberwolves had to attach draft capital to get off of Wiggins’ contract when they made a trade for D’Angelo Russell, and you’re left with a player who at best is a neutral asset and at wort is a negative one on a horrible contract.

Wiggins for Harris straight up? Eh, maybe. Wiggins for Simmons? He… ck no.

Poole? Lee? Looney? All are quality players I wouldn’t mind seeing in a Sixers uniform, but they are varying degrees of throw-in players who can’t be counted on to headline a package and could effectively be swapped out for a draft pick without it derailing a potential deal.

Sidebar: I really like Jordan Poole and would love to see him in a Sixers uniform, but he isn’t good enough just yet to become the Batman to Joel Embiid’s Robin and may never be.

Next. Three cheers for Danny Green’s return. dark

Now granted, if the Golden State Warriors really want to entice the Philadelphia 76ers into a trade for Ben Simmons, the logical decision would be to engage a team looking to enter a rebuild and go all-in on a three-plus team trade. Send Simmons to an older Warriors squad looking for their next era-setter, ship Golden State’s prospects/picks to a squad looking for a bright future, and bring back a legitimate backcourt difference-maker capable of playing with Joel Embiid for the next half-decade. Outside of that scenario though, I just don’t see a Warriors package that piques Daryl Morey’s interest, let alone gets a Wilt Chamberlain-level deal done in time for training camp.