In their quest to improve this summer, the Atlanta Hawks might revive an old concept by exploring a trade for beleaguered Brooklyn Nets player Ben Simmons. The Hawks have declared that they want to grow longer. And better on defense after a 4-1 first-round loss to the Miami Heat.
In theory, Simmons delivers that and the playmaking that Atlanta’s decision-makers want to broaden their offense.
After not playing a single minute this season, he underwent back surgery. We saw Simmons on a basketball court in a significant game. That is in Game 7 of a 2021 first-round playoff showdown against the Hawks when he was passing up a layup.
According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, Simmons is precisely what the Hawks need if he stays healthy.
The Atlanta Hawks may need to rethink a Ben Simmons trade this summer.
The Atlanta Hawks were allegedly talking with the Philadelphia 76ers about bringing Simmons to Atlanta Hawks at the trade deadline. According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, Atlanta Hawks walked out of the discussions. After Philadelphia insisted on including Tobias Harris in the trade.
Simmons trades eventually to Brooklyn in exchange for James Harden.
Following the Nets’ $50-$100 million loss last season and Simmons’ lack of contributions. Brooklyn may be more inclined to play ball than the 76ers.
On paper, the combination of Young, the only player in the league to average 25 points and nine assists this season, and Simmons. Probably the league’s most versatile defender, remains intriguing. Each possesses a razor-sharp strength that may help mask the other’s obvious flaw. And they could work wonders in transition and pick-and-rolls together.
Atlanta Hawks was not a heavy transition team, something the brass has acknowledged may need to alter in the future. However, as a pick-and-roll ball-handler, Young ranked fourth in play frequency throughout the regular season.
Simmons hasn’t seen much action as a roll man, averaging 0.87 points per play. His playmaking, on the other hand, would bring a new depth.
Capela is an excellent roll man, ranking 14th in possessions per game and sixth among players averaging at least 3.0. Such possessions per game during the regular season, earning 1.20 PPP.
Part of the problem with the Atlanta Hawks’ first offer to Philly was the possibility of Simmons. Is being paired with another non-shooter in Clint Capela in the frontcourt. Buckley fixes the problem while outlining the benefits of the new appearance.
If the Hawks can get Simmons back on track and healthy. They’ll have their second star and the shut-down defense this team needs. With him upfront with John Collins, Kevin Huerter, and De’Andre Hunter on the wings. This bunch would have enough length, agility, shooting, and finishing to go around Young.
According to Cleaning the Glass, such lineups were just a plus-0.4 for the Atlanta Hawks during the regular season. But plus-4.0 when Capela was the fifth guy.