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#pounditThursday, June 13, 2024

1 Western Conference contender emerging as Ben Simmons suitor?

Ben Simmons in a tank top

May 13, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) warms up prior to the game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

While most other NBA teams would be holding their noses when it comes to Ben Simmons, one contending club may be seeing an opportunity.’s Sean Deveney spoke this week with an unnamed Western Conference executive who said that the Dallas Mavericks are “a team to watch” in a potential trade for the Brooklyn Nets star Simmons.

This comes after another report last week said that an unspecified West team recently showed interest in Simmons, the former No. 1 overall pick.

The Luka Doncic-led Mavericks are 5-3 to start the new season. They have the floor spacing to survive a Simmons acquisition since they are equipped with a center (Christian Wood) who is shooting a smoking 48.0 percent on threes this season. But unless Simmons is willing to come off the bench for Dallas, he would inevitably displace one of Dorian Finney-Smith (a strong defender and adequate three-point shooter), Reggie Bullock (a strong three-point shooter and adequate defender), or Spencer Dinwiddie (another shot creator and ball-handler alongside Doncic) in the starting lineup.

The list of negatives with Simmons is lengthy. Other than his three-point inabilities, Simmons is averaging a triple-single this season (6-6-7), has a history of back and attitude problems, and has spawned some concerning theories from NBA scouts. He is also only in the third season of a five-year, $177 million millstone of a contract. But if Dallas is intrigued by Simmons’ defensive upside and wants to send out a bad contract or two of their own to match (like Davis Bertans or Tim Hardaway Jr.), perhaps an unlikely deal could be reached here.


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