San Antonio Spurs: Creating a realistic trade for Ben Simmons
How the deal could work for the San Antonio Spurs
In San Antonio's case, the Spurs will receive a perennial All-Star who will immediately raise the floor of the team. San Antonio goes from a team that many believe will miss the play-in tournament to likely a playoff team from the moment Simmons steps on the floor.
Simmons will enter a completely new situation, going to a Spurs organization that needs a clear direction. Simmons can contribute as a three-level playmaker, someone who can facilitate offense in any setting on the floor.
Simmons also raises the ceiling of this team's defensive output, being arguably the best defender in all of basketball. Simmons has one major flaw as an on-ball scorer, but he is genuinely a great player at every other aspect of the game, including off-ball scoring.
He'll also be coached by some of the best developmental staff in all of pro basketball, with Gregg Popovich and Chip Engelland giving Simmons all of the coaching in the world at all phases to tap into what was once believed as "LeBron James 2.0" in upside.
The Spurs also receive Matisse Thybulle, who can contribute as a defensive ace defending opposing wings and guards. San Antonio's team defense will improve with the acquisition of Simmons and Thybulle while adding a much-needed boost of playmaking,
San Antonio will get to play Derrick White and Keldon Johnson alongside Ben with the ability to start Thybulle at the other forward spot, all anchored by Jakob Poeltl at center. White is one of the perfect fits as a secondary creator and scorer alongside Ben, with Keldon fitting as the bruiser in the half-court, attacking closeouts, taking two to three dribbles, and driving hard to the rim.
San Antonio keeps other key members of their young group in guys like Lonnie Walker and Josh Primo while having adequate cap space going forward to add a player of Ben's caliber in free agency to pair with the star playmaker.
The Spurs will need to add another shooter and another off-the-bounce creator, but they'll be in good hands with a young core of Ben Simmons, Keldon Johnson and one of Josh Primo, Lonnie Walker, or perhaps a future free agent or draft pick that currently isn't on the roster.
It'll cost the Spurs a new philosophy along with new personnel with this trade, but San Antonio should entertain the idea of adding a surefire star caliber player. If you believe you can tap into Simmons' upside as a player, it should be a no-brainer. Trade for Ben Simmons.