NBA

NBA Rumors: Sixers to trade Ben Simmons for Russell Westbrook; Thunder interested

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook

Rumors and speculations are now swirling around the Philadelphia 76ers who are reportedly trading their first overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft, Ben Simmons, for Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the NBA teams who dreamt of at least entering the playoffs next season. The Sixers have struggled in the past season, finishing in the last spot in the Eastern Conference with 10-72 record. They recently acquired Ben Simmons in the 2016 NBA draft and believed that he could bring the team to a higher level next season.

However, Ben Simmons is still a rookie, a promising player who has many things to learn. After Kevin Durant joined the Golden State Warriors, there are rumors circulating that the Oklahoma City Thunder will trade Russell Westbrook to start rebuilding their team.

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Russell Westbrook will become a free agent next season. Jason McIntyre of The Big Deal suggested that the Thunder should trade him before the 2016-17 NBA season starts. It will be the best move and not be freeing Russell Westbrook in 2017 NBA free agency without getting anything in return.

Joe Tusio of The Sixer Sense shared his insight with, how could the Philadelphia 76ers land Russell Westbrook:

“Down the road, if the Thunder so decides to trade Westbrook, what would it take from the 76ers perspective to land the All-Star? The package would have to include at least one of their young big men along with one or both of their first round picks next year. The thought of a future lineup consisting of Westbrook, Luwawu, Forkmaz, Saric, Simmons and Embiid along with future draft picks is impressive and would bring an immediate impact to both the franchise and the city. The only way the 76ers should trade for Westbrook though is if he is committed to the 76ers. Trading for Westbrook for one or two years would not be a smart decision, especially if the 76ers do trade one or more of their future draft picks.”

However, it seems like the offer would not be that attractive for the Thunder since they have enough big man in their team. NJ.com reported that Russell Westbrook would not be a good fit with Ben Simmons. Westbrook is a point guard while Simmons is a point-forward.

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If the Sixers are serious to trade for Westbrook, they could sacrifice Ben Simmons together with two 2017 first round picks to the Thunder. Since the Thunder reportedly wants to rebuild their team, the Sixers’ offer will surely be attractive to them. However, they should first assure that Russell Westbrook will commit to signing in next year’s free agency. If not, the Sixers should pass trading their key assets.

Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

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