Ben Simmons trade rumors are great news for the Sacramento Kings

Ben Simmons, Sacramento Kings (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Ben Simmons, Sacramento Kings (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Have we officially reached the point where Ben Simmons is an underrated basketball player? The last few months have allowed seemingly every NBA fan in existence to form strong opinions about the former No. 1 overall pick out of LSU. Many Sacramento Kings fans still believe in Simmons’ ability to fulfill his potential, others are hesitant to be stuck paying max money to an underperforming diva.

Simmons is coming off a lot of heat from fans and critics alike on social media after notoriously underperforming in an Eastern Conference Quarterfinals defeat against the Atlanta Hawks, where he averaged just 9.9 points per game and only attempted 12 total shots in the final three games. This cast doubt on Simmons’ ability to ever become a primary option on a contending team.

But what if he didn’t have to be the primary option? What if he only had to fulfill a Draymond Green-esque role as a player who could do a little bit of everything? Surely many teams would place a lot of value in a Swiss army knife of a player… at least until they got off the phone with Daryl Morey, that is.

Morey and the 76ers’ front office made no secret of their plans to eventually trade Simmons, ideally for a star guard such as Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal. After these talks were quickly shunned, Philadelphia then imposed a ridiculous asking price of “four first-round draft picks, three pick swaps, and a young player” on the San Antonio Spurs in trade talks.

This obviously led to Simmons developing feelings of malcontent about how he was being treated in Philadelphia, eventually resulting in him formally requesting a trade from the team. With the superstar market now dried up and any potential suitors offended by Morey’s asking price, Simmons’ trade value has plummeted to an all-time low. This could perhaps give a team like the Sacramento Kings the perfect opportunity to pounce.

With his value now at an all-time low, there’s no reason left for the Sacramento Kings not to aggressively pursue Ben Simmons via trade.

Now, Simmons is reportedly refusing to attend training camp and appears to be awaiting a trade before the 2021-22 season is set to officially tip off. While teams such as the Minnesota Timberwolves still threaten to make a splash, Simmons has requested to be traded to one of “three California teams”.

Whether or not Sacramento is on that list is up to interpretation. Ultimately the decision is not in Simmons’ hands, however, as Philadelphia is likely to move him for the best offer available. Assuming the Kings wish to keep De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, I still believe Sacramento can pitch the best offer here.

A deal revolving around Davion Mitchell, Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley, and draft compensation would give the 76ers plenty of future assets to work with as well as that much-needed three-point shooting lead guard they’ve so desperately needed to stretch the floor.

I would hate to see Mitchell walk so early after displaying so much promise in the Summer League, but ultimately it was just the Summer League and Davion is an unknown product. With Simmons on the other hand, we know what we’re getting. Simmons immediately addresses Sacramento’s biggest holes, primarily compensating for Richaun Holmes’ lack of tough interior defense.

Additionally, this move would allow the Kings to insert four competent playmakers into the starting lineup. Ranging from good to great, each of Fox, Haliburton, Simmons, and Harrison Barnes can distribute the ball. This allows the team to run a motion offense like we haven’t seen before, and push the ball in transition where Fox and Holmes have been known to thrive.

I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve had a change of heart about Simmons. Attitude issues aside, he’s locked in for the next four years and has to play wherever he’s dealt. He won’t get another pass if he fails outside of Philadelphia, so there’s a lot on the line for him to quickly bounce back.

Next. Predicting the Kings' 2021-22 starting lineup. dark

If the Kings could land a player who has already racked up an All-NBA talent and perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate for that low of a value, they have to pull the trigger as soon as possible. This move would accelerate the team’s timeline and finally put them on a course to break the longest playoff drought in the big four American pro sports leagues.