NBA Trade Rumors, Philadelphia 76ers

5 crazy trades to remake the 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers probably won’t split up Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons at the NBA trade deadline but what crazy deals could they make if they wanted to?

The Philadelphia 76ers have two All-Stars in Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid supplemented by some terrific players, such as Al Horford and Tobias Harris, among others. And yet, this team is not playing up to the level that their talent would suggest they should. The biggest reason as to why is their core duo of Simmons and Embiid are a square and round peg trying to fit in two round holes.

Because of Simmons’ lack of outside shooting, the spacing with the 76ers is problematic relatively routinely. Yes, both of these players are potential cornerstone pieces for an NBA team. The issue is that they aren’t cornerstones that can seemingly work in tandem to make a true contender. So with the NBA trade deadline approaching, you have to wonder if Philadelphia would explore breaking the band up.

In truth, that’s highly unlikely to happen at the NBA trade deadline — you might even call it certain to not happen. However, if the 76ers were to make a trade that, as crazy as it may sound, split up Embiid and Simmons, what would such a deal look like? Let’s explore some of those options.

But before we do, it should be noted that Simmons is nearly impossible to trade this season due to the Poison Pill Provision with his massive extension kicking in next season. Thus, a deal ahead of the NBA trade deadline including the guard simply isn’t a viable option. This offseason, however, is a different story.

5. The one that has to wait until the offseason

76ers Get

G D’Angelo Russell

F Kevon Looney

Warriors Get

G Ben Simmons

Something that has been discussed from the moment the Golden State Warriors signed D’Angelo Russell is that it was done with the intention of trading him once Klay Thompson returns and now once Stephen Curry is back in the fold as well. They could flip the young guard for high-quality assets with the way he’s playing and, subsequently, get the currently cellar-dwelling Warriors back in contention.

The 76ers would be a fantastic destination for Russell as he’s the type of player that could maximize the offense in Philadelphia to build around Embiid. Though he may not be the elite facilitator that Simmons is, he’s more than capable as a playmaker with his passing. More importantly, Russell is a drastic improvement for Philadelphia’s spacing issues, hitting on 37.7 percent of his 3-point attempts this season.

Adding Russell to the mix in the City of Brotherly Love would open up the interior for Embiid to be the dominant force he’s capable of being while also opening up the floor for Harris and even allowing Horford to perform in his ideal role as a high-post facilitator and scorer. Yes, the 76ers would lose a bit defensively but what’d they’d gain on offense would be invaluable.

For Golden State, while you have to wonder how Simmons and Draymond Green would coalesce given their similar limitations and strengths, having a rangy defender and facilitator like Simmons to work with Curry and Thompson is a mouth-watering proposition, especially for Steve Kerr, who loves players of Simmons’ ilk.

Again, this isn’t possible at the 2020 NBA trade deadline but, come the 2020 offseason, this is something both franchises should explore.

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