The Toronto Raptors are looking for a potential star that could help give the team some stability after the departure of Kyle Lowry, and a division rival in Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons could still be on the market. Simmons appears headed for a divorce after he struggled in Philly’s playoff loss against the Hawks.
The Raptors aren’t the only team that could theoretically be interested in Simmons’ services. The Trail Blazers have been thrown out there as a potential landing spot that Simmons may end up in, and there is reportedly some mutual interest between the former LSU star and the Golden State Warriors.
Out of those three spots, Toronto might actually be the best for Simmons purely from a basketball perspective given their ability to develop offensive talent. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, depending on your persuasion), Simmons is uninterested in wearing red and black.
Per Jason Dumas on 95.7 The Game, Simmons’ relationship with the 76ers is so broken he isn’t returning Joel Embiid’s phone calls. Simmons is eyeing Golden State, and he trying to avoid getting traded to Portland or Toronto.
Fine, Ben. If you don’t want to go to a place that could help you turn your offensive game around, count us out of the Simmons sweepstakes.
Ben Simmons shouldn’t disregard the Toronto Raptors.
The Raptors are so confident in their ability to fix poor shooters that they selected Florida State dynamo Scottie Barnes with the hope of turning his jumper around. If there is anyone in this league that will get Simmons shooting at a solid rate, it is Nick Nurse and this Toronto staff.
In addition to Simmons himself refusing to go to a place that would help him fix his biggest flaw, Daryl Morey is reportedly unwilling to unload Ben unless the 76ers get a James Harden-like return for him.
I think it might be time to kill any hopes of acquiring Simmons via trade.
Simmons is quite literally a jump shot away from becoming one of the best players in the game. Toronto could help him play winning basketball and fix his shot, but he has his heart set on a bizarre trade to Golden State that isn’t happening barring some major philosophically changes from the Warriors.
This is quickly shaping up to be one of the most nightmarish potential trades in recent memory. An underperforming player has the unmitigated gall to put conditions on where he wants to play, and the man responsible for pulling the trigger wants teams to hack off a limb in order to acquire him.
The Raptors might be better off leaving Simmons and the Sixers to struggle together, especially if he is turning down a chance to resurrect his career.