Ben Simmons’ performance in the Eastern Conference Semifinals was a major storyline during the 2021 NBA playoffs. He averaged just 9.9 points in the series and an even lower 6.3 points in the final three games. The Atlanta Hawks deployed the “Hack-a-Simmons” strategy and his struggles at the charity stripe were painfully apparent. Simmons was visibly afraid to hold the ball, fearing he might get fouled, and it limited his entire game. His head coach Doc Rivers was asked whether Simmons could be a point guard for a championship team and he replied saying, “Yeah…I don’t know that question or the answer to that right now.”
ESPN Sources: Discussions on Ben Simmons' future with the Sixers started in Chicago this week, including Klutch CEO/agent Rich Paul and franchise's front office. No trade request was made, but talks will continue. https://t.co/UsCfhS173L— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 24, 2021
This statement has since fueled trade rumors right after the Philadelphia 76ers were eliminated. Ben Simmons has been linked to several teams so far, including the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers. However, we make a case that the Sixers should retain him and not consider a trade. Here are 3 reasons why the Philadelphis 76ers should not trade Ben Simmons.
#1 Ben Simmons is a terrific defender
Calling Ben Simmons just a great defender is an understatement. He is one of the best defenders in the league right now and was a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year this season. He claimed he deserved the award over Rudy Gobert midway through the season itself and his performances showed it. He was ninth in Defensive Win Shares this season and seventh in Steals per game with 1.6. Simmons said, “I’m not even questioning it right now. I know I am [the DPOY]. That’s a fact. And numbers, certain stats, are cool with certain players. But, at the end of the day, you know.”
Simmons might not score like most point guards right now, but he can certainly defend every one of them. He uses his speed and athleticism to defend across all five positions and is one of the best to stop guards at the perimeter. Simmons has a career average of 1.7 steals per game and led the league in steals last season with 2.1 a game.
Ben Simmons is my pick for Defensive Player of the Year!!! https://t.co/a7L2SlAb2Y— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) April 14, 2021