Did the Philadelphia 76ers Make a Right Decision by Not Trading Ben Simmons to the Indiana Pacers?

Published 07/03/2021, 11:00 AM EDT
May 31, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) reacts after the basket during the first quarter against the Washington Wizards during game four in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the most exciting teams to watch in the NBA. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are some of the most charismatic duos in the NBA right now. But, the career of Ben Simmons has not propelled the way the organization wanted to when they drafted him in 2016. The point guard remains to be the most polarizing player in the NBA. The loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the Semifinals of the Eastern Conference finals was the final nail in the coffin. Notably, fans have been quite patient with Simmons but it seems to be that they are fed up with this talented point guard.


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However, this is a reminder of what he is capable of when he is on fire.


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Philadelphia 76ers reject offers for Ben Simmons

Indiana Pacers had recently offered Malcolm Brogdon and a first-round pick for Simmons. But the 76ers rejected the proposition as they still think they have a future with Simmons. To be honest, it certainly looks better for the 76ers to keep hold of this talented basketball player. Despite playing in the NBA for four-season, Simmons is only 24 years old.

Pulling the plug on this generational talent might head the franchise in a different direction altogether.

NEW YORK, USA – JANUARY 20 : Ben Simmons (25) of Philadelphia 76ers is seen during NBA match between Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets held on January 20, 2020 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Confidence is an issue for basketball players. Just ask Julius Randle. The Knicks snapped him up when he was at an all-time low but remarkably started playing well this time around. Excellent performances in the regular season awarded Randle with the most improved player, for the 2020-21 season.

Despite the inconsistencies in Simmons’ game, the 76ers must take a chance to unlock the true potential of Simmons.


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Where can he improve?

Even though his defensive side of the game is brilliant, it is quite opposite in the offensive output numbers. In the four seasons, he had played in the NBA, Simmons averages 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game. Despite those being good numbers for a player of his age, his offensive skill set is very limited. Apart from post plays or drives to the rim, Ben is non-existent on offense.

May 29, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) celebrates with 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) against the Washington Wizards in the third quarter during game three in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Due to this, teams can shut down Simmons easily and restrict the 76ers in terms of points on the board. With Joel Embiid they have a potent scorer on their roster. But the workload Embiid has to do is affecting his fitness altogether. In the game against the Atlanta Hawks, Embiid got visibly upset when Simmons passed off an opportunity to dunk the ball.

Cracks are getting more visible with Ben and Joel.


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Developing a jump shot and improving his free throws are a must if he wants to develop into a top-class player. His career-free throw percentages are pretty weak for a top-level NBA player as he averages just 59.7 percent.

Philadelphia’s decision to not trade Simmons is applaudable. The player is severely lacking confidence and Doc Rivers is the perfect coach to revitalize his career. However, Simmons has work to do. Being gifted with incredible physical attributes contributes to the player’s ability to dominate games.

The potential he possesses is sky-high. Being in a similar vein to Magic Johnson in terms of versatility is noticeable. However, Simmons needs to improve significantly for developing into a world-class basketball player like Magic.


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Jacob Gijy

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Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.