Brooklyn Nets superstar Ben Simmons is yet to suit up for the franchise after being traded from the Philadelphia 76ers in February. The Australian has not yet made an appearance for the Nets, citing a back injury.
Devney said that Masai Ujiri, the president of basketball operations for the Raptors, could make a trade involving OG Anunoby.
"Toronto had an interest in Simmons before, and a package could be built around OG Anunoby. The Raptors would not give up Scottie Barnes or (Fred) Van Vleet or (Pascal) Siakam, so it might be a nonstarter for Brooklyn," an anoymous executive said to Devney.
Sean Devney also spoke about how it is highly unlikely that the Nets will do the deal. However, it could be the best deal the Brooklyn-based franchise gets for Simmons right now.
"But Anunoby, Khem Birch, and two young guys like (Malachi) Flynn and Precious Achiuwa, plus a couple of first-rounders, that might be the best the Nets can do for him," Devney wrote.
Ben Simmons was supposed to be the newest part of the Nets Big 3 but we could very well see the trio being dismantled without having played a single minute on the court together.
How important is Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets?
The Brooklyn Nets big three have the capability to beat anybody on any given day. With Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Simmons, the Nets now possess an offensive juggernaut that could drop 120 points on a nightly basis irrespective of the opposition.
Durant and Irving's ability to create shots, draw fouls, catch and shoot, coupled with Simmons' ability to run the offense, will allow them to get going.
Another aspect of Simmons playing for the Brooklyn Nets is the fact that he can play the position of the center. He has the size to handle the clanging and banging required at that position, and this will enable the team to surround him with sharpshooters.
That is something the Philadelphia 76ers failed to do because of the presence of Joel Embiid.
With Kyrie playing, Ben Simmons could operate as a quintessential point guard who orchestrates the offense without worrying about scoring. Irving slots in as the off guard who is focused on one thing and one thing only, which is to get buckets. This will also alleviate the scoring burden for Durant and allow him to be more efficient and effective.
The only worries as far as coach Steve Nash is concerned are team chemistry and defense. Irving isn't a great defender, and that could hurt a team that is ranked 20th in defensive rating in the NBA. But the addition of Ben Simmons, who was arguably the best defensive player in the league, certainly helps.
While there is no guarantee that Irving and Durant will be with the team, Ben Simmons could very well be the future of the franchise. The Brooklyn Nets need to follow the blueprint laid out by the Milwaukee Bucks when they build around Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Q. Should the Nets trade Simmons?
44 votes so far