The 76ers were eliminated in agonizing fashion on Sunday. A game winning shot by Kawhi Leonard as time expired hit the rim 3 different times and each time looked like it was going to be a miss.
That was the easy part for the 76ers organization compared to the offseason. Now the true Process begins.
Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and JJ Reddick are all free agents.
Brett Brown’s future is up in the air, with Marc Stein of the New York Times reporting the belief around the league is that Brown would be fired unless the team made it to the Finals.
Most of the depth has been dealt away in two trades meant to deliver something more than a Eastern Conference semi-finals Game 7 loss.
And rumblings continue to persist that home grown stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are not great basketball fits next to each other.
The 76ers did everything right. They hoarded assets, nailed at least a few high lottery picks and methodically built a team culture. Now, they might break it all up.
Is it possible they have too many stars? Their stars are at best an uncomfortable fit and at worst an impossible fit.
They can’t trade Embiid because of his injury history, contract and importance to the team.
Here’s where the Suns should enter.
GM James Jones should aggressively pursue Sixers point forward Ben Simmons.
Simmons is a terrible shooter. He’s literally never made a three point shot in his NBA career, regular or postseason and in fact has only attempted 18 total.
He’s a bad FT shooter too, with a career average of 58.3%.
There’s really no metric that shows Ben Simmons is a capable shooter and because of that, his ceiling as an offensive player is about as high as your standard backyard kids playhouse.
But, he is a playmaker. A willing passer who thrives in the open court and a versatile defender who when locked in can be a shutdown defender. He’s also going to be 23.
This is the simple sketch of Ben Simmons. But he’s a perfect fit alongside Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and whoever else the Suns decide to keep.
Ben Simmons makes the Suns MUCH better right now. And new head coach Monty Williams knows all about him, having been a 76ers assistant prior to taking the Suns head job.
The Suns should be willing to trade their 1st round pick this year unless its #1 overall. Add in a player or two from Warren/Jackson/Melton/Okobo and future 1sts should at least get the 76ers to stay on the phone.
A nucleus going forward of Booker/Simmons/Ayton/Bridges would be fascinating. You’d essentially swap Oubre for Simmons long term in this scenario which would be an obvious upgrade. Bridges's outside shooting would be vital to keep alongside Booker and couldn’t be included in a trade offer.
It may not be Zion Williamson or Ja Morant but Ben Simmons could be the answer the Suns are looking for this offseason.