NBA Trade Rumors: Has Simmons played his final game with the 76ers?
With the 2021 NBA Finals underway, we are quickly approaching the NBA’s second season: the offseason. The only thing better than the action on the court is the rumors that take place when the arenas are closed.
Let’s take a look at the top five NBA trade rumors that are generating the most buzz.
Is Ben Simmons' time in Philly finished?
Ben Simmons had one of the more disappointing postseason performances of a first overall pick that we have seen in quite some time. After helping lead the Philadelphia 76ers to the No. 1 seed in the East, he disappeared against the Atlanta Hawks and effectively got exposed for all the weaknesses that still exist in his game.
Besides the general attitude and seeming lack of killer instinct, Simmons’ most glaring weakness is his poor shooting. He is a terrible outside shooter, and his free throw shooting was so bad in the playoffs that he was being intentionally fouled. His poor performance translated to the worst pass in the NBA this year, when he gave up a dunk opportunity out of fear he would be fouled on the attempt.
While Simmons deserves his fair share of blame for the way the Sixers' season ended, there are many teams that value his elite athleticism and defensive acumen. The Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Minnesota Timberwolves are all teams that could potentially target the 24 year old All-Star this summer.
Would the Warriors be wise to unload Wiseman?
James Wiseman is an incredibly athletic 7-footer that played only a few games in his short Memphis college career before going second overall last year to the Golden State Warriors. It was a selection that seemed peculiar, as Wiseman’s size and style doesn’t seem to match what the Warriors need.
Fast forward to this offseason, and it seems the Warriors were playing chess with this selection and simply acquiring an incredibly talented player they knew would be enticing bait to pair with one or both of the lottery picks they also hold.
With Draymond Green, Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson set to return, the Warriors could rather easily acquire a big-time player for the upcoming season in exchange for Wiseman and make another run at a title. I wouldn’t expect Wiseman to be on the Warriors roster at this time next year.
Is "Dame Time" over in Rip City?
Damian Lillard is the unquestioned face of the Portland Trail Blazers, has been the ultimate competitor and difference-maker for the franchise.
The Blazers have a new head coach, however, and seem to be lacking the pieces they need to be championship contenders in the stacked Western Conference. Lillard says he's committed to the city he’s become a star in, but there have been plenty of rumors about his future given the team's inability to advance deep into the playoffs.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers, and Golden State Warriors all make sense as possible suitors and landing spots.
Is DeMar DeRozan L.A. bound?
DeMar DeRozan has become a bit of a forgotten All-Star after swapping teams with Kawhi Leonard three years ago. However, he is still an excellent shooting guard and may be an enticing addition for teams looking for veteran scoring.
The Los Angeles Lakers are built to win now with LeBron James nearing the end of his career and Anthony Davis in his prime, but they need scoring help. Derozan is from Compton and played collegiately at USC, and would almost certainly welcome the opportunity to go home and join a championship contender.
Kemba Walker won't be in OKC for long
Kemba Walker has battled injuries and has seen a precipitous decline in his overall value since leaving Charlotte. After two years in Boston, he was recently traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he is almost certainly not going to stick.
The Thunder have been compiling trade capital for years, and Walker’s acquisition flies directly in the face of that strategy. Walker is not completely washed up and warrants playing time when healthy, but any minutes he plays in Oklahoma City will take away from younger players that offer a better future with the franchise.
Both Los Angeles teams make sense for trade destinations, as do the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks. The former Connecticut standout became famous with his step-back in the Garden, and would be a fun addition to the up-and-coming Knicks.