With the reports coming out that Ben Simmons may be unwilling to show up to training camp if the Sixers don't trade him, it got me wondering: would it be a good idea for the Wizards to trade for him? And I don't mean trading Beal for him and starting a rebuild. I mean trading some of our young depth to pair Ben Simmons alongside Beal as a defensive stopper, rebounder, and good playmaker. The thing is, the Sixers have absolutely zero leverage when it comes to Simmons. If he's unwilling to show up to training camp, they will be forced to trade him to another team. All the other GM's know this, and so they will be able to severely lowball their offers for Ben. Gone are the days when the Sixers can trade him for Damian Lillard; they probably won't get even an All-Star caliber player in return.
Wizards Get: Ben Simmons, Shake Milton
Sixers Get: Davis Bertans, Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija, Anthony Gill, some draft compensation
Obviously, there are a number of concerns with this trade, firstly being Ben's fit on the team. We are all aware of his inability to shoot, and the spacing might be pretty bad. Of course, a lineup of Dinwiddie, Beal, KCP (who would start for spacing), Simmons, and Gafford is quite formidable defensively, but offense may be a problem even with the second leading scorer in the league. In any case, this trade significantly raises the ceiling of the team, and we would instantly be solidly in the playoff picture in the East.
Now for the salary camp implications. This trade would put us about 7 million over the luxury tax limit. Would Ted be willing to pay the luxury taxes for this roster? Secondly, Simmons's contract is quite massive. He's under contract for 4 years with an average salary of $36,671,040 dollars a year. That's quite a hefty price to pay for a guy like Ben Simmons, especially when you factor in his playoff performances. Is it worth it? I'm not entirely convinced.
Looking from the Sixers' perspective, they are basically being forced to make a deal, and in that way Simmons barely has any positive value for them, considering his giant contract. In this trade detailed above, they would be getting another sniper in Bertans to pair with Seth Curry complementing Joel Embiid, and they would get two young talents in Rui Hachimura and Deni Avdija who they could keep developing or flip for a more "win now" piece. In addition, they would get some sort of draft compensation whose details I am leaving up for debate. The question is, is this the best the Sixers can get, and is Daryl Morey going to realize that he's not going to get anywhere close to a James Harden type package in return? There's obviously teams that can offer much more, such as the Kings offering De'Aaron Fox for him, but I think that trade would be quite foolish for Sacramento. Another option to contend with is Minnesota trading D'Angelo Russell for Simmons to pair alongside KAT. If those trades don't come to fruition would Philly be willing to settle with this Rui/Deni/Bertans/picks deal? Maybe the Sixers ask for KCP in addition as they view him as a good 3&D guard with championship experience. Do we give him up as well? Sheppard said that our young players, including Rui and Deni, were generating substantial interest around the league. If the Sixers aren't willing to develop them as they want to win now with Embiid, could they find a team that might be interested in Rui and Deni in exchange for an All-Star caliber player, say Pascal Siakam or Jerami Grant? Obviously salaries don't match up but I'm just discussing the general framework of a deal. Would the Sixers be enticed by a deal that returns them either Pascal Siakam or Jerami Grant, as well as Davis Bertans as the headline players for Ben Simmons?
On that note, if either the Raptors or the Pistons are willing to accept Rui + Deni and something else in exchange for their top player, would the Wizards want to do that deal without involving Ben Simmons in any way whatsoever? In other words, what is the relative difference in trade value between Siakam or Grant and Simmons, and who would be the best fit alongside Spencer and Brad? To be honest, I'm not too sure. I made this fanpost not as an endorsement of this trade I have built above, but as a starting point for discussions which I hope to have kindled. Simmons has well-documented issues with work-ethic and accountability, which Tommy is quite averse to. Is he even willing to trade for him with that in mind? It is all such a complicated situation.
And lets just assume for a second that the Sixers can't find any better options than the trade listed above, and so they accept it. Adding Ben Simmons to this roster undoubtedly raises the floor and ceiling of this team substantially, but how much will it actually matter? Can a team whose best players are Bradley Beal, Ben Simmons, and Spencer Dinwiddie really compete for a championship, considering they would be over the tax and unable to appreciably improve the team further with Beal's max contract looming? I'm interested to see what your guys' thoughts are on this.