Kendrick Perkins’ bold take on Sixers replacing Ben Simmons with John Wall
Former NBA center and current ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins appeared on SiriusXM NBA Radio on Saturday, where he pitched a potential landing spot for Houston Rockets guard John Wall. Perkins floated the idea of Wall being sent to the Phialdelphia 76ers, who are already looking to trade their current point guard in Ben Simmons.
“I could see John Wall going to the Clippers or even maybe Philly,” Perkins said to co-hosts Brian Geltzeiler and Sam Mitchell. “I don’t know what’s going on with the Ben Simmons situation, but I think John Wall in Philly with Joel Embiid is better than Ben Simmons in Philly with Joel Embiid because John Wall is actually going to take those shots and be agressive. John Wall is not going to be afraid to go to the free throw line. I know his contract, he’s due almost $100 million over the next two years, but you know, at the end of the day, I still think he has something to offer to a contending team.”
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) September 18, 2021
It’s an intriguing hypothetical, but unfortunately, it would be tough to execute unless A) a third team is involved or B) the Rockets are willing to part ways with their young talent in exchange for Simmons. Wall makes $44 million next season compared to Simmons’ $33 million, meaning the Sixers would have to throw in another player to match salaries even though they are already giving up the better player.
Seth Curry’s $8 million contract makes the trade possible, but he’s a key piece to Philly’s offense. The Sixers might be willing to do the deal if the Rockets were to include third-year guard Kevin Porter Jr., but Tim MacMahon reported earlier this week that Houston views him as their point guard of the future and that he’s a big reason why they’re looking to deal Wall in the first place, as they want to avoid a log jam at that position.
As an on-court fit, John Wall could work as a penetrator and facilitator, but he presents some of the same issues that Philly has run into time and again with Simmons. While he’s not hesitant to take threes the way Simmons is, he’s never made them at an efficient clip (career 32.3% shooter from deep). When Embiid posts up for the Sixers, teams will no-doubt sag off of Wall on the perimeter in order to double him in the post.
Houston almost traded James Harden for Ben Simmons last season, so it makes sense that they’d at least consider him now. However, the Sixers should be able to get a better player back for him than an aging Wall if they’re patient, no matter how dry the trade market reportedly is for him at the moment.