July 19, 2021

Sixers AND Mavs fans, I got a trade for you: Porzingis-Simmons

Yes, I know, Daryl Morey and Doc Rivers say they're going to fix Ben Simmons' shooting. That assumes it is fixable, and that it's fixable in the context of playing for the Sixers in Philly, generally regarded as the toughest sports fandom city in the nation.

And, the idea would be questionable coming out of many head coaches' and GMs' mouths. From these two? Even more so.

As for Dallas? Yes, Rick Carlisle, Mr. Floor Spacing, being replaced by Jason Kidd or whomever may make Kristaps Porzingis somewhat more at ease, but, he's probably worn his welcome thin as well.

Now, I'm nowhere near a genyus on NBA salary cap and trade rules, but I know that going by 2020-21 salaries, both teams are over the cap but (I believe) under the lux tax level. So, we have to match within 125 percent. Via Spotrac and looking ahead to next year, here's the Mavs and the Sixers.

Since this is the NBA, first, we have to get within 80 percent on salaries, right? Simmons is set for $33 million and change next year on his base salary. The Zinger? Spotrac says the same!

So, no extra players need be thrown in.

Now, to make the trade happen, not in terms of salaries, but to make it happen, should this get serious consideration, would one team insist on an additional player, or a draft choice, from the other? 

Possibly, but neither should be dumb if it really thinks it's time to move on.

How does this affect both teams?

For the Mavs? Simmons can be point forward or even point center in some lineups. Teach him a Magic Johnson baby sky hook or jump hook in the post. Teach him a Magic-style push-set shot three-ball stroke even. With Luka DoncicTim Hardaway Jr. if resigned,Dorian Finney-Smith and Jalen Brunson, the Mavs still have four three-ballers.

For the Sixers? The Zinger gives an additional outside threat, and one who's not afraid to let it rip. And, since Joel Embiid is already a defensive stopper, the Unicorn could go floating more in a "twin towers" lineup. When the Sixers go smaller, he pairs nicely with Tobias Harris inside.

There's one "small" problem with this. 

As I noted last month in discussing what the Sixers should do with Simmons, they're kind of thin behind him at the point. George Hill is old. Can Seth Curry be your PG? Uhh, probably not. If you're the Mavs, do you slip Trey Burke in to grease the skids? Include Brunson if you have to?

Would this make either team better? The ESPN Trade Machine says it's a wash for the Mavs and a big ding for the Sixers as a straight-up. So, throwing in one of those PGs would certainly help.  The trade machine calls it a near-wash for the Sixers if Brunson's in there.

That said, the trade machine only looks at things like PER. It's just a numbers-cruncher; it can't look at how players fit together.

If I'm the Mavs, I make that trade, including throwing in Brunson if necessary. If I'm the Sixers, I do it if a draft choice is also included ... maybe they hold out for both?

And, if I'm the Mavs? I would even throw in Brunson plus a swap of firsts and fall a bit lower in the draft.

UPdate: Woj says that the Sixers are looking for "Hardenesque" deals. Ain't.Gonna.Happen. Something like what I propose above is realistic. 

Per ESPN, yeah, the Sixers don't have to move Simmons this year; he's got contract years left. But, if they want to boost their playoff chances, yes, they "have to" make a trade this year.

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