James Harden going to Brooklyn stung, but only for a second. Then it was gone quickly, like two ships passing in the dead of night. The Rockets simply were asking for too much. I have become infatuated with Tyrese Maxey’s game. I love the way he plays on both sides of the ball and I think he plays a big role for us in the present and future of this organization. If the Rockets wanted the 4 firsts, Simmons, and Thybulle, I would have given that up in a heartbeat. Maxey was the deal breaker for me and obviously for Morey as well who loves James Harden more than any stripper could.
In 2 years or maybe even less then that, I may be regretting typing this. Maybe Maxey has everyone fooled, but personally I don’t think so. I have a love-hate relationship with Ben Simmons. Everyone that knows me has seen this just by following me on Twitter. I claimed that Donovan Mitchell should have won ROY (I still stand on that hill and believe I was right), I have repeatedly said that we as fans coddle him too much and he’s not as highly valued as many make him out to be. I got in a bar argument with a guy last year who was trying to tell me we were the best team in the East and that we would destroy the Bucks because we have a “”mini Giannis” of our own. Mini Giannis? I immediately stepped away from that conversation because if he was crazy enough to say that, then I had no clue what that madman was capable of.
Let’s start there actually. A lot of the arguments I see defending Simmons compare him to Giannis. He is miles behind Giannis as a player. Ben’s biggest problem is that he doesn’t attack the rim with the ferocity he should because he’s afraid to shoot free throws.
I have constantly said that Ben Simmons attacks the rim like the smallest 6’10 player I have ever seen. With that being said and coupled with the offensive deficiencies Simmons has; am I crazy to think Ben might be perfect for this team now? The only person (realistically) I’m trading Ben Simmons for is Bradley Beal and I think the Wizards are going to want more for Beal right now than the Rockets wanted for Harden. Also what’s to say the Wizards and Beal want to part ways? It seems like the media are the people trying to lobby for Beal wanting out more than Beal himself. The only other player (possibly) available is Zach Lavine. I don’t think Lavine makes us much better or better at all then Ben Simmons does. For all his deficiencies, Simmons is still a very good player. Maybe not as good as he should be or as good as some people think he is (sorry he’s just not a top 20 player in the NBA right now). This is the first season we have had with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid with a roster that actually makes sense around them.
I think the problem many have with Ben is that he just hasn’t lived up to his potential. When the Sixers first got Simmons he was compared to LeBron James . Maybe we set expectations too high for him? He’s very much the same offensive player he was when he was drafted. His ball handling and passing for a 6″10 player is amazing and causes so many mismatches because of his height. He reminds me of a 6’10 Jason Kidd mixed with the defensive ability of Draymond Green. That’s the fair comparison as of now. There’s nothing wrong with that! As long as Maxey and Milton are really as good as they have been. This team is deep with a lot of guys that can create and score, that is why I am okay with the way Ben has been playing.
Look how he sets up all the shooters we have on this team. It is fantastic and while he needs to be more aggressive and put more skills in his bag (maybe a floater, a mid range, not necessarily a three pointer), He still is a very good offensive player with his ability to pass and collapse the defense. His amazing defense is what sets him apart and makes him so important to this team. He’s the guy that we’re going to have following Kevin Durant up and down the court hoping to contain him.
Personally I have come to peace with the fact that players like Brandon Ingram and Donovan Mitchell are better than Simmons. I have realized exactly what Ben Simmons is. He’s going to be the third or fourth best player on a championship team, but he will be the most important player on the court. Much like Draymond was for the Warriors dynasty team.
So unless a trade is for Bradley Beal, I’m just not trading Simmons. He’s way to important to this Sixers team even if he does frustrate me every night. That’s the paradox right there. Ben Simmons may be our biggest problem, but also the most important player on this team.