The Phoenix Suns front office has spent the past few years engaging clutch artists, relentless winners, ballers and hoopers alike to form a Western Conference winning squad. However, Ben Simmons does not fit into any of these descriptions.
While the Suns ran to the NBA finals last year after defeating LeBron James, MVP winner Nikola Jokic, and the somber Los Angeles Clippers, the Philadelphia 76ers absolutely made the bed on the other side of the postseason bracket thanks largely to Simmons wet.
Although Philadelphia easily defeated the Washington Wizards in their inaugural playoff series, they fell after seven games to a young and inexperienced team, the Atlanta Hawks. During the series, Atlanta abused Simmons and shed light on his refusal to establish an effective jump shot like never before.
Atlanta played in the “Hack a Shaq” strategy and repeatedly sent Simmons to the line, where he fought more than anyone, including the notorious free throw shooter Shaquille O’Neal himself. On the Charity Stripe, he shot a disastrous 34.2 percent, the worst Brand ever achieved by a single player in the postseason.
In addition, Simmons blatantly refused to shoot the ball at the most important moments of every game. In five of the seven games between the Sixers and Hawks, Simmons missed a single field goal attempt in the fourth quarter.
After Philadelphia ended the series, apparently everyone from Cherry Hill to Allentown pointed their fingers at Simmons, more or less including Sixers head coach Doc Rivers. After winning a championship with the Boston Celtics a few years ago, Rivers knows what a championship recipe entails and has expressed clear doubts about Simmons regarding that after the loss.
With the 76s apparently done with Simmons, a separation between the sides feels pretty safe at this point. The former first overall winner apparently has no plans to show up at training camp or ever wear a Philadelphia jersey again, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
But even after an all-star’s worst postseason performance in recent times, Simmons still holds notable worth as a former first overall winner and runner-up in the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
Under certain circumstances, Simmons could one day play an important role in a winning team. But while the Suns identify as the winning team, likely to fight for a title again this year, they have to skip all of the hot one-pot talk that is currently going on about Simmons.
The Phoenix Suns shouldn’t even recognize Ben Simmons
First and foremost, Devin Booker is dating Kendall Jenner, who dated Simmons before him. The Suns absolutely don’t need that potential awkwardness on their team, and that honestly makes Phoenix the worst target for Simmons on any NBA team.
But back to a more basketball-centric point of view, the exact problems Simmons caused with the Sixers will only increase with the sun. The role of point guard remains in the hands of Chris Paul, so the front position remains the next best place to insert Simmons should the suns foolishly trade for him.
Last year, however, the Suns thrived with far-reaching threats of Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder at every front seat as they played well as surrounding pieces for the team’s pick-and-roll-oriented offensive. However, a certified brick shooter like Simmons is ready to derail this completely.
His inability to stretch the floor will force him to push himself deep off the block, which bothers Deandre Ayton and essentially forces the Suns to move away from the same offensive that made them into the NBA finals months ago brought. Doing that is as idiotic as it sounds.
But most of all, Simmons seems to lack the urge to self-improvement, which makes Phoenix such a well-coordinated team. Unlike Simmons, the suns didn’t come up with excuses last year. They surprised everyone with the improvement of every young player under the leadership of Chris Paul and Monty Williams, and that sounds like the last thing Simmons wants to submit to.
Every time a great gamer becomes available through trade inquiries or the buyout market, fans love to dream about him coming to their team. But leave Philadelphia’s exiled son alone, he has absolutely no place on this team.