Ben Simmons Trade Odds: Where Will 76ers Guard End Up?
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Trust in the process hit an all-time low after the Philadelphia 76ers were bounced in the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals by the Atlanta Hawks in seven games.
Bettors who backed the 76ers were torched by guard Ben Simmons at the top sportsbooks. The first overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, Simmons disintegrated in the final three games against Atlanta and his Game 7 performance was an historic low. It will remain frozen for years in the minds of furious Philly basketball fans, who have not celebrated an NBA title since Dr. J, Moses Malone & Company led the parade down Broad Street in 1983.
In his final game against Atlanta, Simmons did the unthinkable at home. He made just two of four attempts from the floor and one of two free throws for just five points in 36 minutes. He threw more passes than Jalen Hurts down 30 against the Cowboys in settling for 13 assists and 8 rebounds in a 103-96 season-crushing defeat.
Overall, Simmons scored 9.9 points per game against the Hawks, while adding 8.6 assists and 6.3 rebounds in 34.5 minutes nightly. In a dozen playoff games, he whiffed on 48 of 73 free-throw attempts. If you’re glued to Philly sports talk radio or any form of social media, you can be forgiven for believing that Simmons will be playing in Serbia before he returns to Philly. His uncertain status will impact NBA futures markets as soon as the 2021 Finals are complete.
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With that background, DraftKings sportsbook has posted next-team odds on where Simmons will play next season.
|Ben Simmons 2021-21 Team||Odds|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+450|
|San Antonio Spurs||+800|
|Golden State Warriors||+1000|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+1200|
|Any Other Team||+800|
(NBA odds listed are current as of publication and are only available in Colorado and Illinois.)
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And amid the wreckage of another failed playoff run and Game 7 loss under Doc Rivers – his fourth straight such defeat in the playoffs, covering his tenures with the Clippers and Sixers – the Sixers coach remains “bullish” on his nearly pointless point guard, but adds “there’s work to do.”
Simmons Trade Talk Requires Cap Math, Stretch
Anger and vitriol aside, any deal for Simmons will have to involve a max-level contract in return because of salary cap concerns. Simmons can’t become a free agent until the summer of 2025. His annual cap hit equals his annual base pay. Simmons is set to earn $33 million next season, $35.48 million in 2022-23, $37.89 million in 2023-45 and – sit down for this - $40.33 million in 2024-25.
Philly will have to take on an equally onerous contract if it were to unload Simmons.
GM Daryl Morey said “25 or 26 teams” in the NBA would be happy to be in Philadelphia’s situation. He avoided making a 100% all-in commitment when Simmons’ name was raised during his 2021 autopsy/press conference on Tuesday.
The Trail Blazers were bounced in the first round of the playoffs and could be headed toward a full-rebuild of their own since they’ve already fired their coach. Point guard Damian Lillard is the prize in any potential deal with Portland and has the sort of contract that could make a deal for Simmons workable.
That makes more sense than a trade of Simmons to conference rival Washington. A deal with the Wizards would involve Bradley Beal or Russell Westbrook. But the Wizards have not expressed any desire to deal Beal publicly, or even on the down-low trade rumor mill.
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