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Would Ben Simmons Be Worth It For The Celtics?

Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers warms up prior to game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on June 11, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

 

The Boston Celtics are playing average basketball thus far in 2021-22, so could disgruntled Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons be worth it for the green?

There is a very good case for both sides of the argument.

Last week, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Celtics had an interest in Simmons:

However, Brad Stevens shut down any possibility of Jaylen Brown being dealt.

The Celtics president of basketball operations, and former Celtics head coach, seemed to not want that rumor floating around any longer.

After underachieving in Stevens’ last year as the head coach, Boston has not impressed consistently this year.

The Celtics recently had their best stretch of basketball.

They won at Orlando and Miami on consecutive nights to begin a 4-1 stretch.

Those five games were great for the Celtics:

However, an injury-riddled matchup at Cleveland on Saturday night ended in a two-point loss.

The 6-7 Celtics may need a change, so could that change be a trade for Simmons?

 

Why is Ben Simmons Worth it for the Celtics?

 

The Celtics have had an interesting recent history in terms of guards who pass the basketball.

Here is who has led the team in assists the last six seasons:

Marcus Smart by no means should be the main ball handler or passer for a contender.

Smart has finished in the top three in assists per game on the Celtics since 2015-16.

The Celtics are in need of a player like Simmons to carry the load in terms of ball-handling and passing.

The 2017-18 Rookie of the Year and three-time all-star (2019-2021) could be a huge part of the Celtics moving forward.

He has the 10th-best assist percentage among active players and finished in the top 12 in assists per game from 2017-18 to 2020-21.

He led the NBA in steals per game in 2019-20, and he rebounds well, too.

Not only is he strong with the defensive statistics, but he can also walk the walk with his defensive rating.

His defensive rating was the fifth-best one in the NBA last season.

Simmons can provide a lot of value for the current and future Celtics teams.

 

Why is Ben Simmons Not Worth it for the Celtics?

 

Unfortunately, Simmons has been a terrible clubhouse guy in the year 2021.

He has yet to play a game for the 76ers this season, and he cannot shoot when it counts.

Here is how Simmons fared during the 2021 playoffs:

  • career-low playoff performances in points (11.9) and rebounds per game (7.9)
  • .342 on free throw shooting

On the bright side, he had 8.8 assists per game and did almost average a triple-double in the playoffs.

However, that free throw performance (25 for 73) was by far the worst in the NBA during the postseason.

Clint Capela attempted 2.2 free throws per game and shot 44 percent, and he was the second-worst player.

Simmons could not be relied upon in clutch situations in the playoffs.

Also, Simmons did not get a rousing recommendation from his current head coach:

Doc Rivers was asked:

“Do you think Ben Simmons can still be a point guard of a championship team like the one you guys want to become?

He answered:

“I don’t know the answer to that.”

Well, the former Celtics head coach — the one before Stevens — could be foreshadowing what could happen if the Celtics acquire Simmons.

Maybe he is not worth the risk.

 

The Verdict

 

If the Celtics want to make a big splash, they can try this high-risk, high-reward move and go for Simmons.

He has the potential to give Boston a huge boost.

Simmons can fill the Celtics’ need for a consistent ball-handler who can pass better than almost any other active NBA player.

Unfortunately, he comes with some baggage.

Not only is does he come with a huge price tag (Jaylen Brown) from a divisional rival, but he also has tremendous offensive struggles.

It may be close to 50/50 in terms of what decision to make, but this Celtics team is not currently a contender.

If the C’s want a chance at being a contender, the Simmons trade is the way to go.

Go get Simmons and cross your fingers, Boston.



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