By Teddy Brenner
Here’s a Ben Simmons trade spiffball that sounds ridiculous on its face, but we feel compelled to pass it along.
It comes from Bleacher Report, which points out that it is fanciful and no legitimate exec has suggested it:
The Trade: Ben Simmons for Jrue Holiday
Why It Seems Ridiculous: The Milwaukee Bucks just won an NBA title with Holiday as the team’s starting point guard. He’s still a premier defensive guard at age 31 and viewed as one of the best teammates in the league who’s contract isn’t up until 2024 (with a player option for 2024-25).
Moving Holiday for Simmons could have a terrible effect on team chemistry and risk upsetting Giannis Antetokounmpo. If nothing’s broken, why fix it, right?
Why It Could Actually Work: After the initial shock of a Holiday-Simmons swap, the Bucks could have a higher ceiling and become even more devastating defensively with the 25-year-old, three-time All-Star on board.
Pairing Simmons and Antetokounmpo gives Milwaukee perhaps the two most versatile defenders in the league. Both stand at 6’11” and can guard all five positions on the floor. The Bucks have stumbled to 20th defensively this season, with Holiday (who’s six years older than Simmons) missing six games with a sprained ankle. Letting a motivated Simmons set the table for Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton while spreading shooters around (Brook Lopez, Grayson Allen, Donte DiVincenzo, George Hill etc) could make the Bucks even more dangerous than last year.
Holiday would be a breath of fresh air if he returned to Philly, as he’s ready to win now and can do anything Doc Rivers asks of him. He’s already proved capable of thriving next to All-Star big men (Anthony Davis, Antetokounmpo) and would help bring out the best in Joel Embiid.