Utah Jazz: Should they try to trade for Ben Simmons?

Utah Jazz (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Utah Jazz (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Utah Jazz could have sufficient pieces to exchange for a unique weapon.

It’s no secret that there is significant tension between the Philadelphia 76ers and one of their star players, Ben Simmons. After his tumultuous postseason, many onlookers are wondering if he is still a star player and if he will stay in Philly.

All signs seem to point towards a parting of ways between Simmons and the Sixers. General manager Daryl Morey has an extremely high asking price for their current point guard. Reports are mentioning prices as high as two young prospects and three first-round picks.

When any star player becomes available, contending teams always want to see if there is a way for this player to be added to their roster. This is certainly no different with some Utah Jazz fans.

So let’s take a look at Simmons’ status as a player and see if he could be a fit in Utah.

Is Ben Simmons still the type of star the Utah Jazz would want?

Many people have begun to question whether or not Ben Simmons is a star player after he became unplayable offensively in the playoffs this past season. His lack of shooting mixed with his passiveness, as well as his spacing issues with Joel Embiid, have called into question his ability to be an impact player when the stakes are highest.

These criticisms and concerns are valid, but there is another side of the coin.

Defensively, Ben Simmons is as good as it gets. Utah Jazz faithful may take offense to that, seeing as Rudy Gobert is a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year. But Simmons is able to defend positions 1-5 on the court, locking down players like Damian Lillard while switching onto Jusuf Nurkic.

His versatility, skill level, and defensive instincts put him in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation each year. His offense has yet to be unlocked, but he is a good enough playmaker on that end of the court and is the top of the line when it comes to defensive talent. This still makes for him being a star player.

If Utah were to want to make a move for Ben Simmons, what would it take?

A potential deal to get Ben Simmons to the Utah Jazz

Any deal with Ben Simmons going to the Utah Jazz would likely need to include Rudy Gobert. Simmons is as talented a defensive player as Gobert is, he’s on a cheaper contract, and he is four years younger than Gobert.

That said, the Sixers have no place for Gobert (Joel Embiid).

So it would need to be a three-team deal including Portland, who has what the Sixers want: Damian Lillard. Obviously, this deal hinges on Portland being willing to trade Lillard, which is a more feasible idea than it was three months ago.

Does this trade make sense for the Utah Jazz? And is it possible?

From a Utah Jazz standpoint, they would be giving up Rudy Gobert, Jared Butler, and two first-round picks for Ben Simmons and Robert Covington. This deal makes a lot of sense from both a financial and roster construction standpoint.

Simmons would give Utah two young stars in Donovan Mitchell and Simmons, who would together set up Utah with both an offensive and defensive anchor for years to come. Ultimately, Simmons provides a little bit more on the offensive side than Gobert, and he has an equally great defensive impact.

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From a “future of the team” standpoint, this trade could make a lot of sense. On the other hand, this deal would take a lot of things happening in order to work. Any deal for Simmons would have to include moving on from Gobert, and it would require a third team to actually help give Philly what it would want. With Embiid there, they would have no reason to take back Gobert.

Finding a team that has what the Sixers want is difficult, as they seem to really only want top-tier star power in return for Simmons. But they certainly seem to have their eyes set on Lillard, so a three-team deal with them would require Dame asking for a trade to Philly with Portland accepting a return of players, which may be a little less than what they could get elsewhere.

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In other words, Jazz fans shouldn’t get their hopes up for any potential Ben Simmons deal.