Lack of shooting progress means Cavs shouldn’t trade for Ben Simmons

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons warms up before a game. (Photo by Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons warms up before a game. (Photo by Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Ben Simmons, Cleveland Cavaliers
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons speaks with an official in-game. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Ben Simmons, based on his postseason disappointment and his disappearing acts in fourth quarters in the Philadelphia 76ers’ Eastern Conference Semifinals series loss versus the Atlanta Hawks, combined with past playoff failures, seems to have his days numbered as a Sixer.

Of course, in a general sense over what’s been over time, Simmons and Joel Embiid’s somewhat clunky fit, with Embiid ideally being surrounded by four shooters, at least against quality competition, has ultimately led to Philly plateauing. That’s just my opinion, although one would assume that’s shared by many.

Now, Embiid’s injury history hasn’t aided Philadelphia, either, and in that semifinal series, he was playing with a small right lateral meniscus tear. Even with him gutting it out, it still led hurt Philly’s chances, for one.

Granted, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers deserved his share of blame too, and I’m not glossing over that. I don’t know what was going on with his rotations.

The year before, the Sixers, then with Brett Brown as their head coach still, were swept in their first round series against the Boston Celtics too, but Simmons wasn’t available then because of knee surgery.

Nonetheless, circling back to the present and over what’s been too many times when Simmons and the Sixers have seemingly disappointed in the postseason in those instances in the Semis, and that’s not including Embiid, realistically, it does appear that both Philly and Simmons need a change.

Albeit on that subject, I’d imagine plenty of squads will want to gauge interest in a potential trade for Simmons.

And while I’m personally out on the possibility, I’d think the Cleveland Cavaliers could be one of those squads. Cleveland is reportedly said to potentially consider moving their #3 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft for a star that could “accelerate their rebuild,” and perhaps with Simmons’ recent postseason woes, it could be a time when a club like the Cavs could be in the mix for him via trade.

Chris Fedor of’s comments in a recent piece seemingly echoed that thought for a potential established All-Star player too, for what it’s worth. Plus, Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman’s comments of late made it appear Cleveland could be willing to move their high pick in this year’s draft for an established star.

Now, as far as a potential trade, while it’s uncertain if Philly might consider it, I’d think something along the lines of a deal including Kevin Love, regarding salary matching, Collin Sexton or perhaps Darius Garland, and Cleveland’s #3 pick in this upcoming draft would be an initial framework. That’s also with Philly’s roughly $8.2 million trade exception in mind from their prior dealing of Al Horford to the Oklahoma City Thunder at the time.

And post-draft, if there would maybe be a minor near-salary matching piece thrown in by the Sixers, perhaps that’d play out.

That said, although I understand possible interest in the 6-foot-11 Simmons, who is a three-time All-Star, one of the NBA’s best defensive players, a player with great vision and driving abilities, and is only 24 still, now I’m just hung up on one thing.

That’s the continued lack of shooting aside from push shots/drives and/or lack of progression as a jump shooter.

The Cavs shouldn’t try to trade for Simmons because of his lack of shooting progression with Philly.

Simply put, while I’m not at all discounting Simmons’ defensive abilities, nor his passing, transition abilities and his postseason experience, his lack of shooting threat outside the paint is still very concerning to me.