The Cleveland Cavaliers finished rock bottom in the Eastern Conference in the 2019-20 NBA season. Long gone are the days where the Cavaliers were almost certain to win the East season-in season-out, with the great LeBron James leading his hometown franchise. There has been hardly anything to cheer up Cavs fans since the departure of their prodigal son, and not many NBA Trade Rumors have sparked a sense of optimism.
The front office did well to bring Andre Drummond to Cleveland, but his salary is a burden that most teams did not want anyway. Kevin Love is another great player on their roster whose value is subdued by the heavy dollars he's bagging relative to his production.
The Cleveland Cavaliers do have a talented, young back-court in Darius Garland and Collin Sexton, but they won't be challenging again any time soon.
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NBA Trade Rumors: Only Ben Simmons could breathe life back into the Cleveland Cavaliers
Given the atmosphere around the Philadelphia 76ers franchise, the chances of Ben Simmons and/or Joel Embiid leaving for greener pastures is greater than it ever has been before. The 'process' that the 76ers have implemented in order to bring a championship to the city of brotherly love hasn't worked out at all, and many NBA analysts have suggested that it's better they hit the reset button.
This opens up a window for the Cleveland Cavaliers to bring superstar point guard Ben Simmons to the franchise and build around him for years to come. Ben Simmons has a 5-year-long contract which kicks in from the start of the 2020-21 season and will see him earn almost $170 million. So there is complete security to his contract, which makes him worth investing heavily in.
The Cleveland Cavaliers don't have enough trade assets to convince the Philadelphia 76ers to do a deal with them, but what they can do is offer to make their rebuild easier by taking one of their unwanted contracts.
Al Horford, for example, is on a giant contract that no franchise in the NBA would be willing to take on, but the Cleveland Cavaliers could do it if it means getting Ben Simmons in the process.
Ben Simmons' stats
Career points per game - 16.4
Career assists per game - 8.0
Career rebounds per game - 8.3
Career field goal % - 56.0%
Career 3pt % - 8.3%
Ben Simmons had himself another superb year where he was named in the NBA All-Defensive team, and also made his 2nd straight All-Star appearance. The former Rookie of the Year averaged 16.4 points, 8 assists, and 7.8 rebounds per game throughout the 2019-20 NBA season. He also led the league in steals per game with 2.1 to his name.
For any franchise to let go of a complete package like Ben Simmons does not sound plausible on paper, but his fit on the court with center Joel Embiid has always been questioned.
Simmons' lack of a jumpshot means that he must be surrounded by elite shooters, and the Philadelphia 76ers haven't provided them with such players whatsoever.
NBA Trade Rumors: What can the Cleveland Cavaliers give up for Ben Simmons?
A trade package would mainly involve three talented youngsters in Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, and Kevin Porter Jr., along with their best player in Kevin Love. The 5th overall pick of the 2020 NBA draft and another future first-round pick could be enough to get Ben Simmons and whatever salary filler the Philadelphia 76ers might be willing to dump.
It is a bit of a stretch, but if anyone can make Cleveland Cavaliers basketball interesting again, it is Ben Simmons, with his transcendent ability to make everyone around him better.
Published 12 Sep 2020, 05:30 IST