There's a big Game 7 tonight in Brooklyn between the Bucks and Nets. If the Bucks lose, don't be surprised if Milwaukee's coach Mike Budenholzer gets his pink slip. Coaches are being let go left and right and the NBA has no mercy regardless if you've recently won a Coach of the year honor or not. Then tomorrow, there's another Game 7. This one between the 76ers and Hawks. If the 76ers lose, no, Doc won't get fired after just one season, but head will roll in Philly.
So if you just hired a new Head of Basketball Operations and head coach in Daryl Morey and Doc Rivers respectively, and they aren't going anywhere, what's next? Well Morey already tinkered with the roster to add more shooters around Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons this past winter, so a small remodel is not the answer either. That leaves either Philly tinkering with their Big 3 of Embiid, Simmons, and Tobias Harris.
If you've been paying attention, Simmons is the guy who's been getting the most vitriol from fans and talking experts. Is this the summer Philly finally breaks up the Simmons/Embiid duo? Looks like it will at least be explored.
Now I know what many Celtics fans are going to say. That Simmons isn't that great. He can't shoot. He can't lead your team to a title. All of these may have different levels of truth to them. For one, you're correct that Simmons will never be a 3-point shooter. He may always struggle from the line. And as your go to guy, no he can't lead a team to a title. But if I recall correctly, Boston already has a go to guy in Mr. Jayson Tatum.
Yea, but... u wouldn't be trading for Simmons to be 1 of your top 2 players, but instead to be your playmaker who's role is to get the ball to the Jay's/bigs to score & to lead the defense.
The offers I'm seeing on social media of what Celtics fans would be fine with trading for Simmons are while funny, rather ridiculous. Simmons isn't a bum. He's an elite passer, play maker, and defender. He's a point guard built in an old school Magic Johnson. Not saying he's Magic, so calm down! And I'm well aware its a different era, but Simmons is still an All-Star talent even in the 2021 NBA.
One thing that was apparent last season for Boston was that while they had a few dynamic scorers, they were sorely lacking in the playmaking department. In recent years the following play makers had all walked: Kyrie Irving, Terry Rozier, Al Horford, and Gordon Hayward. The Celtics wisely attempted to see if their two young stars could become better playmakers and both Jay's made strides, but neither is there yet. It's unclear if either will.
So the Celtics desperately need a great playmaker. What else? Boston's defense has regressed. The Celtics used to hang their hat on defense and this past season they were mediocre at best. While Kemba drew a ton of charges, so he wasn't useless on D, like Kyrie and Isaiah Thomas before him the remaining four Celtics on the floor had to cover for their sub par defensive point guard. The quickest way for the team to improve defensively to add a great defender at the point.
So my job is to win the Defensive Player of the Year award, while leading the league in assists, & not worry about scoring? Got it Coach!
I'm going to be honest with you here, there is no ideal 3rd star available to the Celtics now or on the horizon to be the KG that makes them a championship team. That was a once in your life opportunity. Just like now Boston had two wings in Paul Pierce and Ray Allen who could give you 30 points. Al Jefferson would have made a fine 3rd star, but that team wouldn't have won a championship. And there was potential for issues to arise between Pierce, Ray, and Al since all three's greatest strengths was scoring. All three needed a ton of touches. That's a recipe for conflict not a championship.
I don't see a world where the Blazers would trade Boston Damian Lillard without getting Tatum or Jaylen back. In fact Boston's ability to trade for Lillard to form a Big 3 have worsened after the Kemba trade, since now the earliest first round pick Boston can trade is their 2023 one. Boston doesn't have what Portland would want.
Trading for Bradley Beal without breaking up the Jay's is more plausible, especially if Beal plays the "Only team I will sign in free agency is Boston" card. I wouldn't say that would be easy though. And then again you'd have a Big 3 that really doesn't fit together. Tatum, Beal, and Jaylen are high scoring wings. You really can't have your Big 3 all be the same type. You need one to be a point guard, playmaker, or big. Again the ideal guy to pair with either Tatum and Jaylen or Tatum and Beal would be KG. An unselfish, defensive beast. If the Celtics add Bradley Beal, sorry but that means that Jaylen will eventually be traded.
Not all All-Star guards need to be scorers
By now you get the point that I think Ben Simmons is just what this Celtics team needs when you take into account that anyone else you may have in mind is unattainable. Like sure Giannis would fit. Not happening. Doncic would be amazing. Never happening. Ja Morant and Zion would be great. Neither is going anywhere anytime soon and even if they ever do, they'd cost a Jay and then some.
So if you need to get better at defense then why not switch up from your bread and butter of the past several years of having an undersized point guard and add the tallest/longest point guard in the game today. And Simmons happens to be a 1st team All-Defensive player. Need more playmaking and a third star who isn't another shooter who needs his 20 to 25 looks a game? That's Simmons too.
If you ever wanted Simmons on the Celtics this postseason is the best thing that could have happened. Well you still need him to have a poor Game 7 and for Philly to lose that game. You should be rooting for him to brick jumpers and free throws. The only way a 24 year old All-Star, All Defense 1st team player becomes available is because either he had a poor playoffs and the team wants to shake things up or he has a horrible injury. The latter isn't what anyone wants, but the former is the loophole.
Simmons is the same age as the Jay's, so he's a better fit both positional wise and age wise than Beal (Or Lillard, though again, you're not getting Dame without giving up Jaylen).