In a league where the unthinkable regularly happens, can a Boston Celtics-Ben Simmons marriage actually be on the table if the famed franchise worked out a trade agreement with the Philadelphia 76ers?
The Sixers have officially placed Simmons on the trade block. Rightfully so, they want an All-Star caliber player in exchange for their guard. This despite Simmons' trade stock plummetted after his mediocre postseason performance. Nevertheless, Simmons still has a lot of value.
One team that could use him is the Boston Celtics—a squad loaded with talent yet struggled mightily all season long. This suggests that a tweak is in order. The organization did the right thing by hiring Ime Udoka as their new coach, as well as trading Kemba Walker away.
Only Brad Stevens knows if he's done making adjustments. As the Celtics' former coach, he knows what the current team needs and what it does not. At face value, they could use a high-IQ guard like Simmons. By now, the Australian probably has had enough of the teasing. Rest assured that he'll put in the work to improve his jump shot. What makes Simmons scary is that as he works on his stroke, he can be productive on both ends of the floor. He may even be the player that the Celtics need to boost their chances in the East.
Sixers get: Jaylen Brown and Payton Pritchard
Celtics get: Ben Simmons and Shake Milton
Celtics fans might be shaking their heads upon seeing Jaylen Brown on the trade block. After all, he made the All-Star Team for the first time in his young career. As a result, the Celtics had two homegrown stars in him and Jayson Tatum. However, Celtics fans have to remember that their team struggled horribly despite the ascension of Brown and Tatum. Analysts observed that while the two are extremely good players, their playstyles have a lot of similarities. Therefore, they failed to complement one another which became the reason for the Celtics' struggles.
A Simmons-Tatum may be the duo that could work wonders. As for one, the backcourt will probably be the biggest in the league. Simmons himself creates tons of problems for opposing teams who have smaller guards. Imagine him pairing up with Tatum who has been playing the forward spot. But if Brown gets booted out of the picture, then Tatum can move down to the guard spot—a position he can easily adjust to.
However, if Udoka doesn't want Tatum to slip to the two-guard spot, then it still won't be a problem. Before we forget, Marcus Smart is still in the fold. We all know his capabilities on defense. He's also a great three-point shooter too. This is something Simmons would absolutely love.
Going back to Tatum, the 23-year-old may need to work on his stand-up shots. He's often been compared to the great Kobe Bryant as he gets his buckets through pull-up shots and post-ups. For the Celtics to utilize Simmons, he needs more shooters around him, as well as slashers. Tatum obviously has a catch-and-shoot jumper in his arsenal. It won't hurt if he just spends more time on it in the offseason.
Apart from Simmons' vision, the Celtics could benefit from his stellar defensive stance as well. As noted, his size alone creates problems for smaller guards. He exploits this further by being active on defense by getting steals. The Celtics were actually a decent defensive team with a 111.8 defensive rating (13th in the league). With Simmons in the fold, the team will have no problem moving several notches up in the defensive board.