Simmons had been called upon to be the Sixers’ No. 2 option behind MVP finalist Joel Embiid. But in the waning moments of Sunday’s thrilling Game 7, the former LSU star wanted nothing to do with the ball being in his hands. Some even think he’s the reason the Sixers couldn’t get past the Hawks.
It’s time for Philly to make a move, and shipping Simmons elsewhere is the obvious answer. Smith thinks he knows the perfect candidate for a trade partner: the Portland Trail Blazers.
Portland is in need of another ball-handler and proven forward. He’d be a nice compliment to Damian Lillard, who is often overworked in his current role with the Trail Blazers. A Simmons-for-C.J. McCollum trade makes sense for both sides, if you ask Smith.
“[The 76ers should] try to get yourself somebody like CJ McCollum. Bring him to Philly, send Ben Simmons to Portland,” Smith said during Monday’s edition of First Take.
Take a look.
"[The 76ers should] try to get yourself somebody like CJ McCollum. Bring him to Philly, send Ben Simmons to Portland."
— First Take (@FirstTake) June 21, 2021
Is Ben Simmons an elite No. 2 option, though? And is he better than C.J. McCollum?
Simmons doesn’t fix Portland’s issues at the moment. And vice versa in regards to McCollum and Philly. Both McCollum and Simmons need to be No. 3 options if you’re aspiring to be a championship contender.
A Simmons-for-McCollum trade is so-so for both sides, at best. But Stephen A. Smith nails one point right on the head: Philly has to move on from Simmons this off-season.