Kendrick Perkins believes it’s time for the 76ers to cut the cord with their star point guard.
Ben Simmons posted a concerning performance in Philadelphia’s season-ending loss this past Sunday. The 2016 No. 1 overall pick dished out 13 assists in Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks, but he only logged five points on four field-goal attempts. Simmons, who typically is fairly strong at getting to the rim, also only logged a pair of free-throw attempts in the do-or-die contest.
It was an ugly ending to an underwhelming playoff run for the three-time All-Star, leading many basketball fans and media members alike to suggest a relocation for Simmons. Kendrick Perkins is of that company, and he believes there’s a team out there that makes sense as a trade partner for the Sixers.
“If I’m the Philadelphia 76ers, you know what’s the right place for Ben Simmons? I’m going to trade him for D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley, and I’m sending him to Minnesota where he could be around a guy like Karl-Anthony Towns that loves to stretch the floor and float around the 3-point line,” Perkins said Tuesday on ESPN’s “Get Up,” as transcribed by Sixers Wire of USA Today. “Now you able to move DLo out of there and Malik Beasley, because Anthony Edwards now is flourishing and they could get up out of his way. Now Ben Simmons is rolling to the basket and you’re getting the best out of him.”
It’s far too early to give up on Simmons as a superstar-caliber player, but his contract might make it difficult for Philadelphia to swing a satisfactory trade. The 24-year-old still has four years and nearly $150 million remaining on the extension he signed in July of 2019. That’s a steep price to pay for a player with a major flaw in his game.
Regardless, a franchise-altering offseason potentially awaits the 76ers.