After this Brooklyn Networks eliminated in the first round of the NBA playoffs, only one player’s name got thrown around in trade discussions, and it was Ben Simmons. That discussions were mostly hypothetical after there was frustration with how Simmons navigated his injured back after the trade and despite reports he would play in game six, never made his Nets debut. Last month, however, Kyrie Irving and the Nets had a public and chaotic contract hearing before Irving settled on the final year of his deal in Brooklyn and Kevin Durant requested a trade shortly thereafter. Ben Simmons has largely stayed out of trade talks while the Nets figure out what to do with their two stars.
Now, Simmons trade rumors may have stalled due to uncertainty surrounding their two stars, but it could also be because his trade value has waned following his stint on the Brooklyn sidelines. The once runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year now has little value in the merchant market.
“Simmons hasn’t played in 13 months. He’s coming from back surgery. He’s been shaking in the postseason – again. Its trading value is at an all-time low. For their part, the Nets are wary of underselling Simmons and cannot afford to consider him a mere throw-in.” Zach Lowe of ESPN wrote.
However, despite the low commercial value Bleacher report recently shared a trade proposal that featured Simmons in a deal with the Atlanta Hawks.
Greg Swartz recently shared in an article a trade proposal that sent Simmons to the Hawks for two young players.
The Hawks have already been active in the trade this offseason and have attempted to acquire Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs. Could the team try to strike a deal with the Nets to acquire their all-star point guard at Simmons?
Get nets: F/C John Collins, G/F Bogdan Bogdanovic
Gain Falcon: G/F Ben Simmons
The Atlanta Hawks struggled defensively last season and ranked 26th in the NBA with an overall rating of 113.7, and that seems like the only way a Simmons deal makes sense after Murray’s acquisition. Murray is exciting for the Hawks because he allows Trae Young to play the ball in a similar way to Steph Curry, but they want another ball handler in Simmons to have three players who are used to having the ball in their hands ?
The Nets rebound John Collins was impressive, averaging 16.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game for the Hawks. Bogdanovic averaged over 15 points a game last season and the two are interesting plays for the Nets. Are the Nets fed up with Simmons that they’d trade him before they could prove themselves? Where Collins and Bogdanovic aren’t a definite upgrade, that’s an important question to ask. Simmons has made the right moves from his goals with the Nets this offseason and a swap might not make sense until they see how he’s shaping up.
The Hawks aren’t the only team to have participated in Simmons discussions. An NBA exec told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney that the Toronto Raptors have asked about Simmons in the past.
“Toronto has had an interest in Simmons before and a package could be put together around OG Anunoby. The Raptors wouldn’t give up Scottie Barnes or (Fred) Van Vleet or (Pascal) Siakam, so it could be a non-starter for Brooklyn.” said the executive to Deveney.
“But Anunoby, Khem Birch and two young guys like (Malachi) Flynn and Precious Achiuwa, plus a couple of first-rounders, that might be the best the Nets can do for him.”