Philadelphia 76ers

Give and Go: Would you trade Ben Simmons, No. 3 pick for Kristaps Porzingis, No. 8 pick?

Give and Go: Would you trade Ben Simmons, No. 3 pick for Kristaps Porzingis, No. 8 pick?

Before the offseason craziness starts, our resident basketball analysts will discuss some of the hottest topics involving the Sixers.

Running the Give and Go are Sixers Insider Jessica Camerato, former CSN columnist John Gonzalez(!) and producer/reporters Matt Haughton, Paul Hudrick and Steven Tydings.

In this edition, we break down a totally, completely fake trade scenario brought up in our newsroom: Would you trade Ben Simmons and the No. 3 overall pick to the Knicks for Kristaps Porzingis and the No. 8 pick?

Should the Sixers explore a trade for Kristaps Porzingis if the Knicks entertain offers? Yes. (Basically, every team should.) 

Is this the best trade? No.

Ben Simmons has not played in an NBA game. That’s enough reason right there for neither side to make this move.

The Sixers believe they have a very special player in Simmons. They plan to make the 6-foot-10, 2016 first-overall pick the starting point guard next season. If that experiment works, pairing Simmons at the one with a 7-foot-2 center in Joel Embiid who can play away from the basket could cause all sorts of matchup problems and give them a foundation to build around for the future. It is very hard to see the Sixers giving up on that before they even have a chance to try it. 

The Knicks, on the other hand, know what Porzingis can do. He averaged 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and shot 35.7 percent from three in his second season. Porzingis is well on his way to becoming a perennial All-Star and the face of the team once they sort out the ongoing Carmelo Anthony saga. If for some reason Simmons didn’t pan out, what would they be left with? There’s no guarantee the Sixers’ third pick becomes a standout player. For the Knicks to trade a proven commodity for unknowns, that’s far too great of a risk.

I was busy wearing Bermuda shorts and high black socks and playing bocci when this email request came in. You know a question is all-caps IMPORTANT for them to drag me out of sunny So-Cal semi-retirement and press me back into word monkey duty for CSN. So I will do my level best here. 

It’s close, but Porzingis shoots from distance and also offers some level of rim protection.  I could imagine pairing him with Embiid, and the thought makes me smile. He’s also actually played in the NBA. Plus, there are at least two Latvian rap songs about him. If there are any Latvian rap songs about Simmons, someone should bring them to my attention posthaste, because that puts Simmons at a serious disadvantage. Beyond that, I’m not super smitten with anyone after Fultz, which makes moving back from 3 to 8 less of a concern on my end. 

I was leaning toward a yes on this one when Aaron Talasnik — otherwise known as Fanboy Aaron from something called The700Level Show — texted me to say even considering the deal was stupid. Aaron has finished last in every fantasy league he’s ever been in — and also life. That was it for me. Do the deal.

One last thing, while I’m here: I hope someone remembered to feed the trolls in the comments section while I’ve been away. Roob, maybe?


I’m not entirely sure where to start. Let’s go with the part where a major portion of Sam Hinkie’s process was to end up with the No. 1 pick. The Sixers would never trade him without having seen him play in a real NBA game.

Additionally, the Sixers wouldn’t trade Ben Simmons to a division rival so he could potentially bludgeon them four times a season for the next decade.

Speaking of the Knicks, I’m almost positive they aren’t ready to give up on Porzingis at this point in time. Sure, there has been some contention with president Phil Jackson, but the Latvian is still New York’s best long-term building block and a big reason butts stay in those expensive seats for every game at Madison Square Garden.

That’s just the probability side. As far as fit goes, I’m not exactly sold on that either for the Sixers.

Of course, adding a talent like Porzingis would benefit the Sixers in some aspect — mainly on defense with great rim protection alongside Joel Embiid. However, the two are very similar offensively. They are both big men that can drive to the rim but prefer to shoot jumpers. Of Embiid’s field goal attempts last season, 56.4 percent came on jump shots. That number was a hefty 64.9 percent for Porzingis.

For a Sixers team that has spent the last several years simply acquiring talent (mainly centers) and was supposed to be moving into the phase of putting the correct pieces of the puzzle together, this seems like a move that counteracts that approach.

So let me get this straight …

The Sixers give up last year's No. 1 overall pick and the No. 3 overall pick this year for another seven-footer — albeit a damn good one — and the No. 8 overall pick?

Yeah, that's gonna be a no for me, dog.

This seems like a trade scenario a Bill Simmons-like Knicks fan conjured up.

Ben Simmons was touted as arguably the best prospect since Kevin Durant. He's been compared to Magic Johnson. Why would you give up on a guy with his pedigree, court vision and overall potential before he's even played an NBA game?

The argument you could make is the known vs. the unknown, but that gives me even more pause. You're not even sure what you have in Simmons. Could you imagine if you trade Simmons to the Knicks and he becomes the next Magic?

Not to mention Porzingis being a bad fit with Embiid.

I could go on, but luckily Vlade Divac is not the Sixers' GM so I can't see this trade happening.

Side note: He may not have a Latvian rap song made in his honor, but Simmons did a start a pretty important movement that a certain semi-retired sports writer seemed to enjoy.

This would be an absolute travesty of a deal for the Sixers.

Before we even go into Simmons' potential impact, which will probably turn into very real impact in the next year or so, let's talk about Embiid. The biggest issue that plagued the Sixers and their fans in recent years were the team's glut of centers, which is still an issue as long as Jahlil Okafor is on the roster. Embiid is clearly their center for the future and it doesn't make sense to trade your biggest non-Embiid asset for what would essentially be Embiid insurance. You have a little of that in Richaun Holmes. It's not like you need a traditional center to survive in the NBA.

But let's talk Simmons, too. He's a very real talent. His court vision and passing are otherworldly. There's a reason he was the No. 1 overall pick. Sure, he missed a year, but Porzingis has dealt with multiple injuries in his career. One of the only ways this deal makes sense is if the Sixers know something medically about Simmons that we don't, and that's something the Knicks would assuredly see in a subsequent physical.

And Porzingis is a disgruntled asset for the Knicks. So why would the Sixers trade the superior asset and give up the better pick in the deal? It'd be different if the Knicks had won the lottery and were ahead of the Sixers right now, although that deal probably doesn't make much sense with Embiid and Porzingis' fit.

If Phil Jackson offered this deal to Bryan Colangelo, the Sixers' GM would first ask if Jackson was serious. When Jackson said that yes, he was serious, Colangelo would have laughed for a full minute and then asked him if he really, really was serious.

Jackson would begrudgingly say yes, at which point Colangelo would tell Jackson he was a doddering old fool before hanging up and laughing for a decade, during which Simmons and Embiid will dominate the NBA.

NBA Notes: Cavaliers' front office downplays Kyrie Irving trade talk

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NBA Notes: Cavaliers' front office downplays Kyrie Irving trade talk

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert spent more than 30 minutes presenting a positive portrait of his franchise.

The reality is that the Cavs are troubled.

In his first public comments since Kyrie Irving asked to be traded, Gilbert would not confirm whether he'll honor the All-Star point guard's request, but he also didn't rule out the real possibility that Cleveland may deal its second best player -- or if he thinks LeBron James will stay around beyond next season.

"These things are fluid," Gilbert said. "We think that Kyrie Irving is one of the best guards in the NBA. He was part of a championship, three years straight to the Finals and we value his talent -- significantly."

Despite several direct questions about Irving's status, Gilbert would not provide any specifics about recent conversations with him or his agent. Gilbert said he expected the 25-year-old, whose jumper in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals propelled Cleveland to its first championship since the Browns in 1964, to be at training camp with the team in September.

"Right now Kyrie Irving is under contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers for two or three years, depending on the last year," Gilbert said. "As of now he's one of our best players and sure, we expect him to be in camp" (see full story).

Wizards: Team announced Wall’s $170 million extension
WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards have signed John Wall to a $170 million, four-year contract extension that begins in 2019-20.

Team President Ernie Grunfeld announced the completion of the deal Wednesday. Wall said in a video posted on Twitter on Friday that he had agreed to the extension.

Wall's deal includes a player option for the final season in 2023-24.

Owner Ted Leonsis said extending Wall gives the Wizards stability for years to come. The team also matched a $106.5 million, four-year offer sheet that forward Otto Porter Jr. signed with the Brooklyn Nets and has guard Bradley Beal signed through 2020-21.

Wall, a four-time Eastern Conference All-Star, is the third player this summer to get a designated player "supermax" extension, joining Houston's James Harden and Golden State's Stephen Curry (see full story).

Suns: Williams signs 3-year, $17 million deal
PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Suns have signed big man Alan Williams to a three-year, $17 million contract.

The restricted free agent agreed to the deal earlier this month and the Suns announced he re-signed on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old Williams averaged 7.4 points on 51 percent shooting and 6.2 rebounds in 47 games last season, his second in the NBA.

Williams signed a 10-day contract with the Suns in 2016 and averaged 2.9 points and 3.8 rebounds. He played the 2015-16 season in China after being an undrafted free agent from UC Santa Barbara.

Lakers: Guard Tyler Ennis re-signs
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Lakers have re-signed guard Tyler Ennis, a late-season addition who played his way into a job.

The Lakers announced the deal Wednesday.

Los Angeles acquired Ennis from the Houston Rockets on Feb. 23 in a trade for Marcelo Huertas. Ennis appeared in 22 games for the Lakers, averaging 7.7 points and 2.4 assists.

The Lakers are the fourth NBA team in three seasons for Ennis, a Syracuse product chosen 18th overall in the 2014 draft by Phoenix.

Ennis is likely to vie for a backup role behind point guard Lonzo Ball, the No. 2 overall pick.

The Lakers met with Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo and George Hill in their quest for a veteran backup point guard to work with Ball, but all three signed elsewhere.

NBA Notes: Trail Blazers trade Allen Crabbe to Nets for Andrew Nicholson

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NBA Notes: Trail Blazers trade Allen Crabbe to Nets for Andrew Nicholson

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Trail Blazers have traded Allen Crabbe to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for forward Andrew Nicholson.

The deal, first reported by ESPN, comes a year after the Nets offered Crabbe a four-year, $75 million deal as a restricted free agent. The Trail Blazers matched that offer.

A 6-foot-6 wing, Crabbe averaged 10.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists last season in Portland. He hit 44.4 percent of his 3-pointers.

"Allen has been a model teammate on the court and ambassador for the organization off the court," Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey said in a statement. "He will be missed by all of us who shared the last four seasons with him" (see full story).

Warriors: Curry’s 5-year, $201 million deal finalized
OAKLAND, California -- Stephen Curry has delivered his share of success already to a franchise that desperately needed it. Now, he's being paid for all he has done -- and certainly will do.

Curry finalized his new contract on Tuesday, signing a $201 million, five-year deal with the champion Golden State Warriors that initially was the richest ever, until James Harden topped it with a $228 million extension from the Houston Rockets.

Considered overlooked and undersized when he arrived on the NBA scene after being drafted seventh overall out of Davidson College in 2009, Curry has silenced the doubters with every spot-on heave from half-court.

The two-time NBA MVP, who earned $12 million this season as one of the league's biggest bargains, averaged 28.1 points in the playoffs while also contributing 6.7 assists and 6.2 rebounds. Now, he will earn $40 million per season.

"Just happy to be a leader on this team that can understand the goals that we set out for ourselves and try to get it done the best way we could," Curry said immediately after the Game 5 title clincher in the NBA Finals last month (see full story).

Pelicans: Davis tired of losing, ready for results
NEW ORLEANS -- Anthony Davis says a New Orleans Pelicans are "tired of losing" and have the roster to do something about it.

That is, if they can find a new offensive scheme that suits their mixture of incumbent starters and recent acquisitions.

"We can't wait for the season to come and try to make some noise here in the loaded West," Davis said Tuesday afternoon while promoting a youth camp he'll host in early August.

"We're doing everything, whether it's signing players, trading players ... whatever it is to just try to make sure that we try to be a winning organization," he added. "We have the tools right now to be successful. ... Right now, I think we look good on paper. So we've just got to figure it out" (see full story).

Magic: Afflalo returning to team on 1-year deal
A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that the Orlando Magic have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with veteran guard Arron Afflalo.

The Magic and Afflalo came to agreement on Tuesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the deal.

Afflalo averaged 8.4 points and shot 41 percent on 3-pointers last season for Sacramento. The 12-year veteran was a standout performer for the Magic for two seasons earlier in his career, from 2012-13 through 2013-14.

For his career, Afflalo has averaged 11.3 points and 3.0 rebounds for six different teams.

ESPN first reported the agreement.