Ben Simmons‘ name has been in trade rumors for what seems like the entirety of his four-year, highly decorated NBA career, and for the majority of that time, the Golden State Warriors have been a rumored destination. Surrounding Simmons, an All-NBA talent who excels at virtually every aspect of basketball except shooting, with arguably the two best shooters in the history of basketball in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, makes perfect sense on paper.
Now that Simmons, after much speculation, has reportedly requested a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers and told them he’s not going to report to training camp, Golden State is one of the possible landing spots given its roster construction and its bevy of young assets. Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey is clearly interested in a Golden State package, as Philadelphia already reportedly offered Simmons in exchange for Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, the Nos. 7 and 14 picks in the 2021 draft, and two future first-rounders.
Needless to say, that offer was quickly and firmly rejected.
Now that discussions have presumably picked back up after Simmons’ trade request, there’s another issue that could prevent the Warriors from pulling the trigger on a deal for the three-time All-Star. While Simmons would slot alongside Curry and Thompson seamlessly, the fit with Draymond Green — another non-shooting, playmaking guard in a forward’s body — could prove problematic. The potential redundancy between Simmons and Green has the Warriors divided, according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.
“According to league sources, any interest the Warriors might have in Simmons is conditional,” Poole wrote. “In short, they’re not that interested as long as Draymond Green is on the roster. …
“The Warriors, according to sources, are divided on the subject. Some see great potential in having two skilled players thriving in the ball-movement principles, especially in transition. Simmons also happens to be six years younger than Green. Others, however, believe having two non-shooters on the court is too crippling for an offense, even with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, to overcome, particularly in the postseason.”
Poole went on to note that the Warriors rarely make a move without a consensus from their wide array of decision-makers, including the coaching staff and core players.
The idea of Simmons playing center in the newest incarnation of the vaunted Death Lineup next to Curry, Thompson, Wiggins and Green, is tantalizing. However, having two non-shooters on the court in a modern NBA offense is a risky proposition regardless of how talented those players are in other areas.
Please check the opt-in box to acknowledge that you would like to subscribe.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
The next logical question is whether the Warriors would entertain the idea of trading Green to allow Simmons space to flourish. Given Green’s history with the team, his resurgent 2020-21 campaign and his unique chemistry with Curry and Thompson, it would be hard to imagine Golden State sending him elsewhere. But the front office wouldn’t be doing its job if it didn’t thoroughly consider any and every scenario that could potentially improve the team.
For what it’s worth, Poole said he “can’t imagine” CEO Joe Lacob and team president Bob Myers trading Green, but he also said it can’t be completely ruled out.
The Warriors are in a unique position. They’re expected to return to championship contention this season, but also have three lottery picks on their roster who would make excellent trade fodder. It remains to be seen how they’ll proceed, but their roster and top-tier talent ensure that the Warriors will be heavily in the rumor mill whenever a superstar player becomes available.