Ben Simmons’ poor performance in the second-round series of the Philadelphia 76ers’ playoff matchup against the Atlanta Hawks immediately sparked trade rumors Monday.
Simmons finished Game 7 with five points on 2-of-4 shooting from the field. He added 13 assists and eight rebounds, but his lack of aggressiveness was noted. Shaquille O’Neal was one of the loudest critics after the game but Simmons had already acknowledged his poor play in the 103-97 loss.
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“I ain’t shoot well from the line this series,” he told reporters, via ESPN. “Offensively, I wasn’t there. I didn’t do enough for my teammates. … There’s a lot of things that I need to work on.”
Simmons’ foul shooting wasn’t much to be envied either. He was 15-for-43 from the free-throw line in the series against the Hawks and finished the playoffs with 34.2% from the line. According to ESPN, it was the single-worst free-throw shooting percentage in playoff history with a player who had at least 70 attempts from the line. He was 25-for-73 in the first two rounds of the series.
He heard the boos from the fans during the loss.
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Simmons, who the 76ers paid $177.2 million over five years starting in 2019, was immediately thrust into trade rumors right after the loss.
The New York Times reported that the 76ers would “obviously” explore the trade market for Simmons this offseason as he was nearly traded to the Houston Rockets for James Harden. Sixers coach Doc Rivers didn’t exactly back Simmons when he was asked whether the point guard could be part of a championship team.
It’s unclear whether there would be a perfect match for Simmons. His talent his noted.
In five seasons, he’s averaging 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists and is shooting 56% from the floor.
He is still a viable player for any team and the newly sparked trade rumors could just be a prisoner-of-the-moment type of deal. Plus, the amount of money Simmons is owed on his contract may turn teams off anyway.
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By 2024-25, Simmons is set to earn $40.3 million. He could be an unrestricted free agent by 2025 and he would only be 29 years old.