Should Rockets Expedite Rebuild & Nab Simmons?


There is reportedly a mutual agreement between the Houston Rockets and John Wall for him to sit out until they find a trade partner.

With Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers at odds, there are rumors that Philly could be a potential suitor. Essentially having a glorified assistant coach in Wall paves a great way to make this happen. Despite his questionable play at times, Simmons has plenty to offer and a change of scenery could boost his career in a progressive direction.

New Offensive Opportunities

Despite his shooting woes, Simmons remains an offensive threat. For his career, he averages 15.9 points (56% FG), 8.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game. In Houston, he would be playing alongside two soon-to-be star guards in Kevin Porter Jr. and rookie Jalen Green. This would mean him finding his groove in the frontcourt.

In many ways, this could be the best move for his career.

Power Forward

Slotting Simmons at power forward gives Houston an elite playmaker, rebounder and interior finisher alongside Christian Wood. This would be his first time playing with three playmakers not including himself. Both guards can create for themselves and others by making it rain from the perimeter. With this roster, he would have more offensive opportunities created for him, allowing for easier buckets.

More opportunities for pick-and-roll plays as the roll man provides an aggressive and elite passing big man like this.

We also can’t forget about lethal dribble-handoff options that could happen with elite guards.

Simmons’ specialty in transition would bode well for all, opening the floor for smoother operation. Peep the aggressiveness here and imagine it in Rockets red.

At his size, Simmons is one of the fastest players in the league. Placing him in the front-court, he has athleticism, speed and dribbling advantages over many of his opponents.

Defensive Prowess? Apply Here.

Undoubtedly, Simmons is one of the best defenders in the world. He’s able to slide his feet and use his 6’11” frame to stay in front of the opposition, get deflections, steals and alter shots. Last season, he had the second-highest defensive rating (Rudy Gobert) and made his presence known in Philly. He was impactful enough to be runner-up for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award (Rudy Gobert).

In this breakdown by WillSoTrill Hoops, it extensively shows Simmons’ defensive IQ. It’s not just about the physical tools one possesses, but how exactly they’re used and he does just that. He can switch onto the perimeter without it being a mismatch. This versatility and skillset places him in similar light of one of the NBA’s best– Golden State’s Draymond Green.

Ben Simmons = Draymond Green 2.0?

In many ways, the two are eerily similar. Neither are great shooters, but have tremendous IQs in other ways, like defense, passing and rebounding. The difference is the aforementioned qualities Simmons has– height (6’11” vs 6’6”), speed and athleticism.

The advantage Green has is toughness. Mental toughness that is. Regardless of how animated he is, he doesn’t let it affect his game mentally– except when he got suspended in Game 5 of the 2016 Finals, but we won’t discuss that any further.

Still, his IQ is off the charts and he makes the right reads.

Simmons would have Wood as a lob threat, who looked great in like situations with James Harden early last season.

With a change of scenery and role, Simmons can remind everyone why he is a great player and shouldn’t be an afterthought. In late-game situations, his services will be needed for stops and transition runs. His fit makes a lot of sense for this young team and he would have a very promising role should Houston strike a deal.

Acquiring Simmons Would be Great for Houston

This acquisition expedites Houston’s rebuild. Simmons doesn’t need to be a great shooter to advance his career– it may be best for a position change with playmaking guards that compliment his strengths. He’s played on too many Sixer teams where he’s been the primary playmaker, and that doesn’t bode well for his game.

Having multiple playmakers with some being guards will be an adjustment, but for the better to make his game more fluid and simplified. It’s not about how many things a player can do, but how great they are in utilizing their strengths. That’s what Draymond Green has done his whole career, why can’t he? He has more positive effects to be unleashed.

Despite the drama, Doc Rivers stated on ESPN First Take that Philly intends on bringing Ben Simmons back. His reaction to this whole ordeal is that he is forcing his way out, which will eventually leave the 76ers no choice.

He is only 25 with plenty to prove. Moving on from the ‘City of Brotherly Love’ is a change for the better– and H-Town would do just that.

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About Corey Randall

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