After suffering an early exit in the 2020 Playoffs, rumors have started to swirl around Ben Simmons and his future with the Philadelphia 76ers. With their inability to contend for the NBA championship title, multiple signs are pointing out that the Sixers will be breaking up their young superstar duo in the 2020 offseason. If the Sixers decide to move Simmons this fall, he isn’t only expected to receive strong interest from contenders that need additional star power, but also from rebuilding teams that still don’t have a player to build around.
One of the rebuilding teams that may consider targeting Simmons on the trade market is the Chicago Bulls. According to Andrew Miller of Fansided’s Pippen Ain’t Easy, the Bulls shouldn’t think twice before sending a package centered on Zach LaVine if the former No. 1 overall pick becomes available on the trading block in the 2020 offseason.
“If Simmons is made available this offseason, it would be really difficult for the Bulls to avoid putting LaVine into the trade talks with the Sixers. But what the Bulls would be getting out of Simmons is the 2019-20 steals champ, two-time NBA All-Star selection, and the 2017-18 Rookie of the Year award winner. He played in 57 games in the season that was for the Sixers, prior to a season-ending lower-body injury. Simmons averaged 16.4 points per game, 7.8 rebounds, 8.0 assists, a league leading 2.1 steals, and 0.6 blocks. He shot 58.0 percent from the field, 28.6 percent from beyond the arc, and 62.1 percent from the free-throw line.”
With the failure to show major improvement in the past three years, trading LaVine for Simmons would undeniably be a no-brainer for the Bulls. From the time entered the league in 2016, Simmons has already shown huge potential and has been frequently compared to several superstars, including LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers. Though he still has plenty of things that he needs to improve with his game, he has already proven that he’s the type of player that a rebuilding team could build around.
Meanwhile, the potential deal would also be beneficial for the Sixers. In exchange for Simmons, they would be getting another All-Star caliber player who is also a prolific scorer and elite three-point shooter. This season, LaVine averaged 25.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.5 steals while shooting 45.0 percent from the field and 38.0 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. Replacing Simmons with a reliable floor-spacer like LaVine would enable the Sixers to maximize Joel Embiid’s full potential on the court.