Ben Simmons Trade
(Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

I know the title of this post is basically a request to throw hands in Philly right now, but hear me out. I’m not saying you shouldn’t trade Ben Simmons. I’m saying that unless certain requirements are met, now is not the time for the Ben Simmons trade.

Whose Fault Is It Anyway?

The Sixers suffered an embarrassing loss to the Hawks in the Eastern Conference Semis. There is no getting around that. Ben’s poor performance led many to call for the 25-year-old’s head. As bad as Ben was, he does not shoulder all of the blame, and trading him to the wrong team causes more issues than it fixes.

Ben certainly deserves his share, considering he failed to crack 10 points in four of the seven games (including Game 7), shot less than 50% from the free-throw line for the series, and passed on an open layup. As bad as that is, however, we can’t just throw Ben under the bus and call it a day.

There is plenty of blame to go around. Doc Rivers absolutely refused to adjust during the series. The Hack-a-Ben went unchecked. Should Ben have made a god-damn-mother-fucking-bitch-ass-stupid-ass-mother-fucking free-throw? Yes. Should Doc Rivers have adjusted the offense when he saw Ben wasn’t making the free-throws and that Hawks were coming back? Also yes.

The Sixers also played the Hawks soft. Atlanta came into the Wells Fargo Center in Game 1 and hit the Sixers in their collective mouths. It felt like the Sixers were looking past the Hawks. To me, this seems like an indictment of a coach that has a history of choking in the playoffs.

Additionally, the entire team shrank in key moments. For example, Tobias Harris had a respectable series. To his credit, he averaged almost 19.5 points per game. Harris also failed to score in the fourth quarter of Game 7. As a member of the Sixers “big three,” to me, that can’t happen.

So does Ben deserve a good share of the blame for this choke job? Of course, but there is more than enough blame to go around. With the exception of Joel Embiid (who was practically playing on one leg) and Seth Curry, every member of the Sixers holds a piece of this L.

You can’t just trade Ben as a knee-jerk reaction to this loss. Trading him for the sake of trading him will set the team back five years, at least.

Why Not Trade Ben?

Well, the answer to that is obvious. You can’t trade him unless the trade wins the championship next year (or in 2023, I’m reasonable that way). In my opinion, there are only two players you could trade for right now where the juice is worth the squeeze.

Those players are Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal. If you pair either player with Joel, it’s an automatic dub.

Any other player makes the sixers worse *cough* C.J. McCollum *cough*.

Don’t try and bullshit me with picks, either. The time is now in Philly. We can’t wait for a rookie to develop. I can’t process any more processing. The Sixers are on the cusp. In 2019 they were a lucky bounce away from defeating the eventual champions. 2020 didn’t count for obvious reasons. This year they played bad basketball against an inferior Hawks team and, I have nothing but love for Giannis, but the Sixers were also a better team than the Bucks.

Philly needs a name-brand superstar (to pair with Embiid), and they need one now. If you can’t trade Ben for Lillard or Beal, then it is not the time for a Ben Simmons Trade.

Treat yourself to some sick Vendetta Merch

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