Is it High Time for the Philadelphia 76ers to Trade Ben Simmons After Yet Another Playoff Failure?

Published 06/20/2021, 11:49 PM 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 out of the playoffs once again. They lost to the Atlanta Hawks in a seven-game series, despite being the number one seed. And just like after every playoff exit in the last few years, fans are asking themselves if it is finally time to trade Ben Simmons.

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In this playoff series against the Hawks, Simmons averaged a whopping 9.9 points per game and averaged just 6.4 attempts per game. For a player on a five-year $170 million contract, that is not enough, especially when the team is struggling offensively.

Simmons also beat Shaquille O’Neal and Wilt Chamberlain in an embarrassing record. Averaging 34% from the free-throw line, he surpassed Shaq and Wilt to have the worst free throw percentage in playoffs history (minimum 70 attempts).

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In the clutch, when the 76ers needed a player to step up and make big plays, Simmons was nowhere to be found. In the last four games, he shot a combined zero shots in the fourth quarter, and his team ended up losing two of them and eventually crashed out. He was also often benched in the final few minutes because of his inability to space the floor or make free throws.

The 76ers cannot afford to have their second-best paid player become useless when the team needs him the most. There is no way they can contend for a title with him. Their own coach Doc Rivers seems to be having doubts over whether Simmons is a championship team player.

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The process is not working out for the Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers drafted Simmons in 2016 with the first overall pick. It was part of the elaborate ‘Process’ by the 76ers which involved him and Embiid.

Simmons didn’t play his first season due to injury but came back in the next one to win Rookie of the Year. Many would say he peaked then, and he hasn’t shown much improvement since his Rookie Year. He has become a DPOY contender in the last two years, but offensively, there has been no growth.

May 26, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) reacts after dunking the ball against the Washington Wizards during the first quarter of game two in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

He is clearly not the right fit alongside Embiid since the Cameroonian isn’t a consistent shooter either. This creates poor spacing for the 76ers, and also more problems since their top two players cannot compliment each other.

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Embiid is clearly the better player, so the 76ers should be looking to offload Simmons if they want to progress. These last few seasons have proved that they cannot go anywhere with this duo and change is needed.

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Aaron Mathew

1664 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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