Phoenix Suns Have No Business Dealing with Ben Simmons

Phoenix Suns, Ben Simmons. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Ben Simmons. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

The Phoenix Suns front office spent its past few years reeling in clutch performers, relentless winners, ballers and hoopers alike, all to form a Western Conference winning squad. Ben Simmons though, does not fit any of those descriptions.

While the Suns ran to the NBA Finals last year after taking down LeBron James, the MVP-winning Nikola Jokic, and the gritty Los Angeles Clippers, the Philadelphia 76ers absolutely wet the bed on postseason bracket’s other side, largely thanks to Simmons.

Although Philadelphia defeated the Washington Wizards easily during their opening playoff series, they fell to a young and inexperienced Atlanta Hawks team after seven games. During the series, Atlanta abused Simmons, shedding light on his refusal to establish an effective jump shot unlike ever before.

Playing into the “Hack a Shaq” strategy, Atlanta repeatedly sent Simmons to the line, where he struggled greater than anyone ever has, including notorious free throw shooter Shaquille O’Neal himself. While at the charity stripe, he shot an abysmal 34.2 percent, the worst mark ever by a single player during the postseason.

Additionally, Simmons blatantly started refusing to shoot the ball during each game’s most pivotal moments. Across five of the seven games played between the Sixers and Hawks, Simmons neglected to put up a single field goal attempt during the fourth quarter.

After Philadelphia ended up dropping the series, seemingly everyone from Cherry Hill to Allentown pointed their fingers at Simmons, more or less including Sixers head coach Doc Rivers. Having won a championship with the Boston Celtics several years ago, Rivers knows what a championship recipe includes, and expressed clear doubt over Simmons with regard to that after the loss.

With the 76ers seemingly done with Simmons, a breakup between the sides feels all to certain at this point. The former first overall pick apparently has no plans to show up at training camp, or even put on a Philadelphia jersey ever again according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

But even after putting up the worst postseason performance by an All-Star in recent memory, Simmons still carries notable value as former first overall pick and runner up to the league’s Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Under very specific circumstances, Simmons might one day play an important role for a winning team. But even though the Suns identify as a winning team likely to contend for a title once again this year, they must omit themselves from all the hot stewing talks going on about Simmons right now.

The Phoenix Suns Should Not Even Acknowledge Ben Simmons

First and foremost, Devin Booker is dating Kendall Jenner right now, who went out with Simmons before him. The Suns absolutely do not need that potential awkwardness on their team, and it honestly makes Phoenix the worst possible destination for Simmons across all NBA teams.

But back to a more basketball-oriented standpoint, the exact issues which Simmons gave rise to with the Sixers will only increase with the Suns. The point guard role remains locked up within Chris Paul’s hands, so the forward position remains the next best place to insert Simmons should the Suns foolishly trade for him.

Last year though, the Suns thrived with long range threats Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder at each forward spot, as they played nicely as surrounding pieces to the team’s pick-and-roll oriented offense. A certified brick-shooter like Simmons poises to completely derail this though.

His inability to stretch the floor will force him to crowd down low off the block, disrupting things for Deandre Ayton and essentially forcing the Suns to move away from the same offense which pushed them to the NBA Finals months ago. Doing that is exactly as idiotic as it sounds.

But most importantly, Simmons seems to lack the drive for self-improvement which makes Phoenix such a well-oiled team. Unlike Simmons, the Suns made no excuses last year. They surprised everyone with each young player’s improvement under Chris Paul’s and Monty Williams’s leadership, and that sounds like the last thing Simmons means to subject himself to.

Next. Donovan Mitchell Calls Out Phoenix's NBA Finals Run. dark

Anytime a big name player becomes available via trade requests or the buyout market, fans like to fantasize about him coming to their team. But leave Philadelphia’s exiled son alone, he has absolutely no place on this team.