Doc Rivers will not save the Philadelphia 76ers. They need to trade one of their superstars, Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid, if they truly want this team to excel.
Both stars are still young and could land a king’s ransom in a trade. And Doc Rivers has already proven he’s not the guy who can take two awkward-fitting stars and make them shine.
Some experts are already having doubts:
Whether it’s due to skillset or mindset, Doc Rivers has coached awkward star duos before. And he’s never been great at it.
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin seemed like a perfect fit on paper. But Doc was never able to get the two stars on the same page mentally. His Lob City Clippers woefully underachieved, having never made it past the 2nd round.
He continued this trend this year with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Again, this duo fits well on paper, but neither had the leadership skills it took to inspire their team.
Now, he’s slated to coach Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. These players have already clashed, and worse, they’re a terrible fit skill-wise. Watch Isiah Thomas agree:
We’ve already looked at potential Joel Embiid trades. But what if the Sixers decided to part ways with Simmons?
Brooklyn Receives: Ben Simmons
Philadelphia Receives: Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Rodions Kurucs, 1st round pick
In this scenario, Brooklyn completes its ‘Big Three.’ Kyrie Irving can slot into a shooting guard role, and the Nets would get the type of All-NBA defender they need. They’d be consolidating their young talent into one star that could take the torch when KD starts to slow down.
Philadelphia, meanwhile, gets a ready-made young backcourt on two of the best contracts in the league. Their shooting immediately gets better, and so does their outlook for the future. If they can only get off of either the Tobias Harris or Al Horford contract, they’d be set.
Washington Receives: Ben Simmons
Philadelphia Receives: Bradley Beal
Ben Simmons wouldn’t be a perfect fit for Washington, but this move would make them younger. Maybe they could find a way to get off the John Wall contract and start a full rebuild around Simmons, Bertans, and Thomas Bryant.
Philly, on the other hand, would land the perfect Joel Embiid complement in Bradley Beal. Beal would give the Sixers the playmaking they’d lose in Simmons, plus an immeasurably better shooter. Check out his highlights:
Portland Receives: Ben Simmons
Philadelphia Receives: CJ McCollum, Gary Trent Jr., two 1st round draft picks
Philly would get Bradley Beal-lite in CJ McCollum, plus a rising knockdown shooter in Gary Trent Jr.
Portland needs to shake things. The Damian Lillard-CJ McCollum duo is fun, but it makes for a crippling defense. Lillard and the Blazers would finally get an elite wing defender in Ben Simmons.