For months now, the San Antonio Spurs have been involved in conversations around Ben Simmons' likely departure from the Philadelphia 76ers in the near future. Trade rumors and proposals have been floating around the likes of Bleacher Report, Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, and other sites for some time now. While some of their proposed trades are passable at best, others are quite awful, and a few are downright shameful.
One of the most common (and frequently copied) trade proposals seen online that somehow seems reasonable to many is to send both Dejounte Murray and Derrick White to Philadelphia for Simmons in return. In fact, just earlier today, such a proposal was shared yet again by Sixers Wire, the 76ers subdivision of USA Today.
Personally, I'm at my wits' end when it comes to seeing these proposals. Not only was the Murray-White formula taken directly from a recent Bleacher Report article that suggests the same trade, but the trade itself is not worth the cost for the Spurs. In short, Ben Simmons is not worth a package including both Murray and White.
Ben Simmons' trade value is lower than advertised
To begin with, this common trade formula seems to show that other teams' fans and their media outlets alike have a fundamentally bad understanding of Murray and White's value. White could very well be the Spurs' best two-way player at this point, and Murray is still only 24 years old and has improved every year in the league. Philadelphia has good reason to be interested in both players.
For the Spurs to consider trading both of them for a package that solely contains Ben Simmons, though, is laughable. Not only would the trade imply that Simmons is actually worth both of these players (he isn't), but it also implies that the Spurs think Simmons' long-term impact on the team will outweigh that of both Murray and White.
While some have suggested substituting Murray in these trade scenarios for Lonnie Walker IV, I am increasingly hesitant about that trade package as well. While the Spurs would obviously be receiving a very good young defender in return, sending such a package for him would mean making a big bet that the other young Spurs players will improve their shooting by a significant margin. And even if they do improve, it may not be enough to compensate for Simmons' seemingly broken jump shot.
No matter how badly the 76ers or their fans want it to be true, Simmons is not worth those gambles for the Spurs. Trading for a player that can't shoot the ball in a league that values shooting more and more is not and never will be a good idea for any team that doesn't already have elite shooters on the roster. Furthermore, Chip Engelland should not be burdened with the responsibility of completely having to rework a 24-year-old's jump shot from scratch.
So can the Spurs still create a trade package for Simmons? Despite some serious concerns I have about his fit on the team, I still think it's possible. That being said, the team needs to make sure that they aren't overvaluing Simmons and/or giving up their entire future in the process. In that way, if I were forced to guess, I'd say another team ends up with him.