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Is Ben Simmons the right solution for the Sacramento Kings?

The point forward would solve a lot of problems for the Kings, while also creating new ones.

Over the last several months, no storyline has captured the attention of the NBA, and Kings fans in particular, more than the Ben Simmons saga unfolding in Philadelphia. As a franchise constantly scanning the league for discarded assets and diamonds in the rough, talented-if-imperfect players always draw Sacramento's eye, as they're often the most realistic solution for pushing the organization to the next level. Simmons represents the highest tier of that sort of high-risk, high-reward acquisition, perhaps drawing memories back to the days of the Chris Webber trade and the success that followed.

Of course, any conversation around Simmons is bound to be rife with controversy and disagreement. Much of the discourse around such a divisive talent is all or nothing, and discussions often devolve into Twitter-esque, simple labels being heaped upon a complex player. His game is full of enough holes to justify anyone wanting to call him nothing more than Andre Roberson with passing instincts, while those who believe in his abilities can claim enough official accolades to theoretically dismiss those concerns. He's a Rorschach Test of what one wishes to see in a player, and there are both major positives and significant drawbacks to be found for any team acquiring his services, including a current non-contender such as the Sacramento Kings.

The Good

The most attractive aspect of a Simmons trade is, of course, his overall talent level. Over the last 15 years, the Kings have purposefully tanked, accidentally tanked, prioritized young players, prioritized veteran players, spent tons of money, and hoarded their cash, all to no avail. The one thing they haven't tried in a decade-and-a-half of losing is to trade for an All-Star caliber winner, and Ben Simmons has known nothing but winning in his time in the league. The worst Sixers season with him as an active member was back in 2019 when Philly won 13 more games than they lost, far better than any Kings season since their playoff drought began. Last year, the combination of Joel Embiid and Simmons posted the best record in the Eastern Conference, the equivalent of 56 wins in an 82-game season.

Beyond team wins, Simmons' individual repertoire is also quite impressive, even if his poor performance against the Atlanta Hawks has seemingly erased many of his accomplishments for many people. Last season, he finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting, while the Kings haven't even had someone rank as All-Defense since Ron Artest back in 2005-2006, not so coincidentally the last time that Sacramento sniffed the postseason. Simmons has also been elected to three All-Star Games and been selected for First Team All-Defense twice in his first four seasons in the league, one of four players in league history to accomplish both of those things. The other three names on that list are Tim Duncan, David Robinson, and Hakeem Olajuwon. Of course, Simmons certainly isn't that caliber of player, but that's perhaps a perfect definition of who he is as a contributor - a perfect Robin or co-manager, but not the number one option for a contending team.

While that label may seem a bit harsh for a career winner who has gobbled up multiple awards, Simmons' key areas of expertise — play-making, defense, and rebounding — are all facets of a complementary star, a la Draymond Green, rather than as a cornerstone piece. However, his unique package doesn't negate his value, and in some ways, it may actually increase his importance on the floor, especially for a team like the Kings.

In 2020, Sacramento failed miserably in three critical areas: overall talent level, defense, and rebounding. They ranked 30th in defensive rating, posting the worst mark in NBA history, 30th in points allowed per game, 30th in defensive rebounding, and 30th in total rebounds per game. The Kings couldn't stop opponents, nor could they close possessions with a secured board.

To be fair to Sacramento's front office, Monte McNair has somewhat addressed those areas of need in free agency and the draft. He re-signed Richaun Holmes, Moe Harkless, and Terence Davis, all defensive-minded players, drafted a stud guard stopper in Davion Mitchell, and acquired Tristan Thompson and Alex Len, an excellent rebounder and a solid rim protector respectively. Although all of those are solid depth additions, aside from Holmes and maybe Mitchell, most of those players are plug-and-play one-dimensional contributors. Luke Walton can plug in Tristan Thompson as a rebounder, but he's not going to give you much as a shot-blocker or scorer. Moe Harkless is an above-average defender, but he can't shoot a lick, and so on and so forth. The Kings addressed individual needs with a coterie of individual players, but their talent level is such that they aren't going to elevate the team in multiple areas, as is the case with most bench players in the NBA.

Simmons is the exact opposite. He can fill every gap for the Kings, and he would do so at a much higher level than almost anyone else on the roster. In 2020, the Philadelphia 76ers ranked in the 94th percentile in points allowed per possession with Simmons on the floor, and that's mostly due to his ability to guard point guards through power forwards, harass the passing lanes for potential steals, and then recover to protect the rim. He held opponents to 5% under their average field goal percentage last season, placing fourth among all forwards in the NBA, and he also ranked in the 93rd percentile in block percentage and in the 86th percentile in steal percentage among his peers. To put that final number into a different perspective, Simmons was 9th in the NBA in steals per game in 2020. If he was added to the core of De'Aaron Fox (15th) and Tyrese Haliburton (29th), the Kings would control three of the best ballhawks in the entire league, all of whom have their best defensive days ahead of them.

It's also been made very, very clear that the Kings want to run three-guard lineups as frequently as possible in the 2021 campaign, and Simmons' defensive versatility would not be the only aspect of his game to boost those lineups. He's an above-average rebounder for his position, an area of need for any of those groups that Luke Walton wants to run, especially if Richaun Holmes is anchoring the center spot, as he's a middling rebounder on his best day. Simmons' defensive rebounding percentage of 17.1% is much better than that of Harrison Barnes (15%) or Moe Harkless (9.7%), and while he'll never be as effective on the glass as a traditional big man, his much more robust skill set is far more valuable than players such as Marvin Bagley or Alex Len.

The final aspect of Simmons' game that makes him so unique is his size and passing ability, and while it's true that the Kings aren't necessarily desperate for another play-maker, adding a 6' 10" point forward should not be dismissed, even with De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton on the roster. Only five players in NBA history have stood taller than 6' 10" and have averaged at least 6.5 assists per game. Ben Simmons is the only player to do so four times. His combination of height and court vision are especially effective in finding shooters in the half-court, as he ranked third in the league in assisted three-point makes per possession last season. The possibility of Richaun Holmes sprinting out in transition, with Simmons, Fox, and Haliburton flinging the rock all over the court to trip up defenders, and Harrison Barnes flying to the corner, would be nearly impossible to stop.

The Bad

It's incontrovertible that Ben Simmons is an all-world defensive talent, a freak play-maker, and a solid rebounder on both ends of the floor, but he is by no means a perfect player. There are holes in his game, and they are almost as incontrovertible as his positive attributes. Outside of his success at the rim, in which he ranks in the 89th percentile among ball-handlers, Simmons flat-out cannot and will not shoot, a near-death knell for a modern point guard. 97% of Simmons' shot attempts came from layups, floaters, dunks, and the like last season. Only 3% of his shots originated from outside the area around the rim, and of his career 3,188 field goal attempts, just 34 have originated from beyond the arc.

That inability and unwillingness to space the floor severely limits what Simmons can do off of the ball, and coupling his non-shooting with De'Aaron Fox's inability to knock down three-point shots (early preseason results notwithstanding) could clog up the lane, even if two of the other starters are knockdown shooters. And while it's true that some of Simmons' shooting limitations can be negated by running him in pick-and-roll as the screener and off of off-ball screens, any rotation with him on the floor will find itself in an awkward position when he refuses to pull the trigger on a good, open shot.

In some ways, he's the Yin to Russell Westbrook's Yang on the offensive side of the floor, as both are historically bad shooters. Westbrook hurts his team by shooting far too often, and Simmons hurts his team by refusing to shoot at all. Such severe imbalance on either end of that spectrum does nothing but disrupt a smooth offensive performance.

Simmmons' offensive limitations also sometimes impact his ability to run basic offensive sets. While his passing instincts are otherworldly, and his height-to-position ratio is unprecedented, Simmons still struggles to score out of the pick-and-roll, one of the most basic offensive principles in all of basketball. Opposing defenders are ingrained with the knowledge that Simmons has a zero percent chance of pulling up and knocking down a jumper, so they simply fall back and pack the paint against his drives. While it helps to have shooters on the corners to space the floor in that situation, as Philly did with Seth Cury and Danny Green last season, the individual results for Simmons were still poor from a scoring perspective, as he rated in just the 23rd percentile in pick-and-roll points per possession.

When Simmons does penetrate the lane in pick-and-roll and other situations, he's often fouled, as he led all point guards in free throw frequency last year. However, many of those free throws came from opposing defenses making a solid bet, rather than from Simmons making crafty plays. Last year, he sunk just 61.3% of his free throw attempts, the lowest mark of any player in the league to attempt more than 4.5 per game. Once again, pairing that significant deficiency with De'Aaron Fox's own struggles from the line could be cause for very real concern.

The Unknown

Other worries about Simmons' fit in Sacramento are not quite so definable or stat-driven. Perhaps the most legitimate criticism lobbed his way has been his lack of growth in any areas of weakness over the last four years. A quick glance at his season-to-season per-game numbers shows no significant evolution in shooting or scoring.

Season MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2017-18 33.7 6.7 12.3 0.55 0 0.1 0 0.55 2.4 4.2 0.56 1.8 6.3 8.1 8.2 1.7 0.9 3.4 2.6 15.8
2018-19 34.2 6.8 12.2 0.56 0 0.1 0 0.56 3.3 5.4 0.6 2.2 6.6 8.8 7.7 1.4 0.8 3.5 2.6 16.9
2019-20 35.4 6.6 11.4 0.58 0 0.1 0.29 0.58 3.2 5.2 0.62 2 5.8 7.8 8 2.1 0.6 3.5 3.3 16.4
2020-21 32.4 5.6 10.1 0.56 0.1 0.2 0.30 0.56 3 4.9 0.61 1.6 5.6 7.2 6.9 1.6 0.6 3 2.9 14.3

In all reality, one could swap any season for any other and see no change in production from Simmons.

Another less tangible detractor, and the one with the fewest teeth, is his potential unwillingness to play in Sacramento. His agent, Rich Paul, is known for getting his way. Combine that fact with the "three California teams" rumor from earlier in the summer, and the concern around another holdout becomes almost palpable, but there are plenty of reasons to dismiss such a worry.

For starters, holdouts aren't inherently bad things. Plenty of players have held out over the decades, with no long-term impact on their careers. Even one of the most beloved Kings of all time, Doug Christie, held out for a bigger payday or a trade when he was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics in 1992, causing a tidal wave of disgust from Seattle's media and fan base. He turned out just fine.

The reasoning behind the holdout also makes for a unique situation. Simmons isn't mad about playing time or role or money. He's upset that his head coach and fellow star player threw him under the bus after a playoff loss, and then backed the bus up and rolled over him again this summer, and again in camp. He doesn't want to play for the Philadelphia 76ers, and that's somewhat understandable given the circumstances, although he certainly wasn't blameless in his performance against the Atlanta Hawks.

There's also the important and influential matter of cold, hard cash in Simmons' willingness to play for his new team. He's currently losing $360,000 per game that he misses, in addition to potential fines if he starts skipping practices and other team events. The Sixers have also been given permission to withhold over $8 million in pay until he reports or is traded, and that will continue to dwindle as Simmons continues to refuse to report to the team. Demanding a trade and holding out from his new team would be a potential career-killer for Simmons, and both he and his representation would feel the full wrath of the NBPA and NBA offices. While theoretically possible, a second holdout just doesn't seem likely.

The Gamble

While there are intertwining layers of debate around Ben Simmons' game, how good he actually is, and what role he would play in Sacramento, there is no real doubt that he would help the Kings, and probably help quite a bit. The balance that Monte McNair must strike is the addition of Simmons, versus the loss of assets in a high-cost trade, whether those be veteran contributors, parts of the young guard core, first round picks, and even future salary cap flexibility. Add in the ridiculous, unreasonable demands of the Sixers in trade talks, and it's easy to see why no deal has yet taken place, and why a deal may never take place.

Conversely, 25-year old Defensive Player of the Year candidates who are locked up long-term aren't exactly available whenever one wishes. Simmons very likely represents the only realistic opportunity for a major upgrade until at least the trade deadline, and if the Kings are as desperate to break their 15-year playoff drought as everyone believes they are, an All-Star paired with De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton certainly makes that path to the postseason much easier and much wider. His defensive accomplishments and positional versatility would solve many, many problems for Sacramento, including their weak fifth starter spot. On paper, the fit looks almost perfect.

Such a dichotomous debate is unironically reflective of Simmons' actual game. There's a lot of good to be found, but there's a vein of negatives running through such a bright, young talent. On the right team, those weaknesses can be hidden and Simmons can flourish. Meanwhile, an incorrect fit may very well crush a team from a trade asset, cap sheet, and on-court chemistry position.

It's unreasonable to believe that a player of Simmons' caliber wouldn't do the Kings any good, and it's just as unreasonable to say that there's little to no inherent risk in such an acquisition, especially if the cost is as high as expected. However, for a team as desperate for wins as the Sacramento Kings, a gamble on Ben Simmons may very well be worth the risk of all of his unknowns.

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Kingsguru21
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October 8, 2021 9:51 am

I know this will inevitably be discussed, but I think David Aldridge makes a fair point in this piece on The Athletic about a Kyrie Irvin/Ben Simmons swap (I haven’t read your piece yet Tim although I will) about how it might make sense for the Kings to move one of their G’s to get Simmons. I don’t really agree, personally, but I would assume Haliburton would be the guy the Sixers most likely would prefer.

That said, if I’m trading Haliburton, I’m not giving up lots of picks. It’s either multiple picks or Haliburton, and I’d prefer trading multiple picks to Haliburton.

That said, I’m going to read this whole thing now. I’ll probably disagree with it.

Kingsguru21
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October 8, 2021 10:05 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I’m shocked but I certainly do agree with this as an overall posture of the piece:

It’s unreasonable to believe that a player of Simmons’ caliber wouldn’t do the Kings any good, and it’s just as unreasonable to say that there’s little to no inherent risk in such an acquisition, especially if the cost is as high as expected. However, for a team as desperate for wins as the Sacramento Kings, a gamble on Ben Simmons may very well be worth the risk of all of his unknowns.

MisterBasketball
October 8, 2021 5:14 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

This is a spot on analysis. I’m tired of the Kings not making the playoffs I the loaded Western Conference.

Last edited 1 year ago by MisterBasketball
BuffaloDiaspora
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October 8, 2021 3:45 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Honestly, a Kyrie/Simmons swap makes a great deal of sense for both teams at this point – even discounting the dumbassery that led to their respective situations, I think both teams improve if they make that swap.

SexyNapear
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October 8, 2021 9:52 am

One of these players would need to be included in trade. Who ya giving up?

Tyrese
Fox
Davion

Time to move on.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
October 8, 2021 9:57 am
Reply to  SexyNapear

Davion.

Kings would be trading an unproven rookie they hope to be a defensive anchor and all-nba defensive team member for a guy who already is a defensive anchor and all-nba defensive player.

Bird in hand…

I’m keeping Fox and Hali no matter what. Philly can have whatever combo of players from the rest of the roster, and a pick or two.

Kingsguru21
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October 8, 2021 10:06 am
Reply to  SexyNapear

It’s going to be Tyrese. They need the defense Davion gives them, and that hard nosed edge that Tyrese just simply can’t offer.

If it were me, I’m not trading any of them to get Ben Simmons. But that’s probably a minority viewpoint at this juncture.

RikSmits
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October 8, 2021 10:16 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Won’t Simmons give them that defense?

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
October 8, 2021 10:26 am
Reply to  RikSmits

That would be my rationale as well. IMO, Ben is a proven bigger and better version of what Davion is on the defensive end. Davion may be able to eventually defend 3 positions, but Ben can currently guard all 5

Last edited 1 year ago by Adamsite
Rosevillain
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October 8, 2021 11:32 am
Reply to  Adamsite

But Ben PLUS Mitchell finally gives them an identity, one they haven’t had since Greatest Show on Court.

Kingsguru21
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October 8, 2021 1:19 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Individually? Of course. But how much impact will it have on a team with a lot of flaws defensively? No.

andy_sims
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October 8, 2021 3:40 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Kind of a tradeoff when you can cover five positions, but none of them need to cover you.

AnybodyButBagley
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October 8, 2021 6:16 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Attack Bagley.

Make Buddy dribble or pass.

Make one pass.

Win against the Kings.

The game plan against the Kings for the last few years…..

The Kings will be better with a player that plays defense but is a zero offensively.

Simmons will never come here so it is a useless fantasy.

Kingsguru21
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October 10, 2021 12:22 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Can you anchor a defense around Simmons? Sure, I’ll buy you could…..if you have enough other defenders. Can you anchor a team around him on that end of the court with the players Sac has? Call me skeptical. As good as he is on that end. I’m not sure Rudy Gobert could make this a top 10 team defensively on his lonesome either.

There’s just so much that goes into a team being elite on one end of the court let alone two. There’s a reason it’s so rare.

But I hear ya Sims. Simmons would instantly be the best defender on this team by a wide margin due to that incredible versatility you point out.

RobHessing
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October 8, 2021 10:08 am
Reply to  SexyNapear

It’s an interesting question. From a value to contract perspective, Hali is probably the most valuable, followed by Mitchell. When you factor in talent, Fox overtakes at least Mitchell right now.

If I had to give up one, it would be Mitchell, whose value is completely based on college, summer league and pre-season. And the first guy that I would take off the table is Haliburton.

Last edited 1 year ago by RobHessing
1951
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October 8, 2021 10:26 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Yeah, by adding Simmons you can even less afford to lose the outside shooting of Rese!

RAP87
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October 8, 2021 4:27 pm
Reply to  SexyNapear

I’d say Fox. I think the FO thinks the same that’s why they wanted to see first how the first half of the season plays out. If Fox turns another leap, he won’t be traded. If it’s the same Fox as last year, Mcnair could be willing to swap Fox for Simmons.

Mitchell, Haliburton in the back court with Holmes, Simmons and Barnes is something that could potentially be really good.

PlayoffModeT
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October 9, 2021 9:23 am
Reply to  RAP87

This. As much as I’d hate to move Fox, an offer of Fox for Simmons seems ideal to me.

Tyrese becomes the main PG but at the 2

My career goal for Mitchell would be for him to average 15ppg and play tremendous defense. I actually think he can average 8-12 ppg this year.

Simmons bringing in 15, 8, and 8 at the 4 and slides HB to the 3 position

I agree with Raps87, our defense would skyrocket with Mitchell and Simmons together, potentially two all-defensive players. Mitchell, Haliburton, HB, Simmons, and Holmes is a completely switchable team (since we switch all the damn time, haha)

BeTheBall
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October 8, 2021 10:17 am

I’m not all that excited about the idea of adding a chronic malcontent and locker room cancer. If he’s miserable on a winning team, I can only imagine the shitshow he’ll put on display on this team.

Kosta
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October 8, 2021 10:42 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

I’m guessing he was fine being on that team until they threw him under the bus.

This Kings team has a coach who won’t do that, and players who won’t do that, as far as I know.

RikSmits
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October 8, 2021 10:42 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

I keep hearing that, but I never saw him act in a way that would indicate that. I mean, his coach and teammates kept pissing all over him and he just kept quiet.

Are you sure you’re not echoing the stories coming out of Philly?

BeTheBall
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October 8, 2021 1:27 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I’m just basing it on what I see from his actions. He told his teammates and the organization to go screw and just quit. As shitty of a person/teammate as Cousins was, not even he pulled that garbage.

AnybodyButBagley
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October 8, 2021 6:20 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Arguing with the referee instead of playing basketball is equal to quitting.

Cousins was just as special but in a different way.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
October 8, 2021 10:48 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

You mean like when the Kings traded for Webber and Artest?

BeTheBall
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October 8, 2021 1:22 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

To the best of my recollection, Webber and Artest never quit their teams, though.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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October 8, 2021 1:44 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Artest was absent for many games and practices during Indy’s best years, often skipping out for personal reasons, then the Malace at the Palace happened. He requested a trade from Indy and didn’t suit up after playing just 16 games. He wasn’t traded until January of 2006 for Peja.

Webber burned every bridge before basically being chased out of town in Golden State. He terminated his contract after his rookie year and sat out the start of the second season before being traded for “wanting to play in a bigger city.”

They both quit on their teams.

BeTheBall
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October 8, 2021 2:10 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I don’t see exercising an escape clause in your contract is no different than a player declining a player-option, in my eyes. As for Artest, after his trade request, the team told him not to attend practice/games until a deal was worked out. If you go by media releases, that decision came on the heels of missing the previous 2 games due to a wrist injury. Basically an alternate version of Jason Terry: “yeah, you can stay home and don’t bother showing up”.

That said, I’m not insinuating that both players weren’t tremendous assholes to their respective organizations, but neither pulled a Simmons.

rockbottom
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October 9, 2021 3:29 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

Neither had their teams throw them under the bus first !

rockbottom
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October 9, 2021 3:27 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

Similar to the sentiments regarding Webber prior to the trade ! Just sayin

jwalker1395
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October 10, 2021 5:02 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

This concern grows for me the longer this goes on. I’m still firmly in favor of trading him for Hield+Mitchell, but the more teammates and coaches make reference to him not having the mindset to grow and achieve starts to make me second guess.

1951
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October 8, 2021 10:20 am

 the Kings have purposefully tanked

They have?

RikSmits
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October 8, 2021 10:25 am
Reply to  1951

Perhaps the 2008 season?

1951
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October 8, 2021 10:29 am
Reply to  BabyGiraffe

Um, Drew Gooden averaged 12 and 13 that season, so what are you talking about? 🙂

Last edited 1 year ago by 1951
DrewGoodenEra
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October 8, 2021 4:42 pm
Reply to  1951

The greatest era in Sacramento Kings history…

AmateurNerd
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October 8, 2021 11:09 am
Reply to  1951

Well, at various times they have placed in positions of influence: Pete D’Alessandro, Vlade Divac, Luke Walton, Reggie Theus, Kenny Natt, Matt Barnes, and Old Zach Randolph. That kind of poopery doesn’t happen by accident. You don’t chug a gallon of Miralax and then “accidentally” go number two.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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October 8, 2021 10:23 am

First of all, great breakdown Tim. Solid perspective from all sides of the Ben to Sac issues.

For me it’s pretty simple, the Kings lack top tier talent and really have only 2 ways to get it in trade or draft. Ben is top tier talent, and that is not really debatable to me. He’s a DPOY candidate and will likely win it once or twice over his career. I went back and looked at the history of DPOY winners and the teams they were on, and every single one of them was on a playoff team. Many of them took their teams deep into the playoffs and even won titles. As Tim mentioned the last time the Kings had a defensive anchor in the same ballpark as Ben it was Artest, who finished 8th in DPOY voting while taking the Kings to their last playoffs.

Ben would be transformative to the Kings, who have been stuck in purgatory since before my now high school daughter was born. Would ne make the Kings a title contender immediately, probably not, but I do think he makes them a real threat for the playoffs now and in the future. IMO, A core of locked up players in Fox, Hali, and Ben (all of whom are 25 and younger) would make the Kings playoff staples for years to come and dark horse title contenders in the near future.

A trade for Ben would be the biggest gamble payoff since the Kings traded for Webber. It is the exact kind of move that this team may need to make to become relevant again.

Last edited 1 year ago by Adamsite
Rosevillain
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October 8, 2021 10:37 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Agree, good analysis in the article. And agree here, it’s a risk the Kings have to take at this point.

AnybodyButBagley
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October 8, 2021 6:27 pm
Reply to  Rosevillain

Bring back the same “core” that has never won 40 games or change the “core”.

If it is not Simmons it needs to be someone.

AmateurNerd
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October 8, 2021 11:11 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Unfortunately, the Kings don’t have an equivalent of Mitch Richmond this time around–a bona fide star who may be past his prime but can still bring a lot of value in a trade. Instead of the Rock, they now have Bagley and Buddy and bags of chips.

Kosta
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October 8, 2021 11:12 am
Reply to  AmateurNerd

Do we have Cash Considerations currently? Or is he on another team right now?

AmateurNerd
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October 8, 2021 1:40 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Cash is on a permanent 2-way contract, ready to be called up at a moment’s notice.

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October 8, 2021 6:28 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

They might get one more single bag of chips in a Bagley trade.

1951
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October 8, 2021 10:24 am

comment image

Kosta
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October 8, 2021 10:46 am
Reply to  1951

Monte McNair is on twitter. Send this GIF to him!

1951
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October 8, 2021 10:57 am
Reply to  Kosta

Done.

Kosta
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October 8, 2021 10:59 am
Reply to  1951

Look at that! I asked you to DO IT, and you DID IT!

Now if only McNair can follow your lead. 😀

If McNair does it, all of Kings Nation owes you a beer!

Last edited 1 year ago by Kosta
1951
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October 8, 2021 11:10 am
Reply to  Kosta

I took it a step further. (Also, this is 100% why Monty should NOT be on twitter!)

Kosta
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October 8, 2021 11:19 am
Reply to  1951

….currently looking at Billboards in the Philly area……

Last edited 1 year ago by Kosta
jjdski
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October 8, 2021 10:26 am

Let it go, the Kings are not trading for Simmons.

RighteousandHopeful
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October 8, 2021 10:28 am

The author is not afraid to take a shot at alliteration. Aren’t all debates are dichotomous? Moreover, this is a thoughtful analysis. My view is any player-for-player pondering ends if it involves Haliburton. He sets the tone with selflessness and compassion for teammates. Better days are ahead. Let’s not make a deal, Monte.

catterj
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October 8, 2021 10:36 am

To address earlier concerns, reporting from David Aldridge:

Kosta
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October 8, 2021 10:38 am
Reply to  catterj

was just going to post the same thing.

catterj
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October 8, 2021 11:21 am
Reply to  catterj

On the other hand … This is the second tweet in this thread

Rosevillain
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October 8, 2021 11:59 am
Reply to  catterj

Ugh. Because 8 seed is what they aspire to be. Contender isn’t even in their wildest dreams.

Carl
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October 8, 2021 1:21 pm
Reply to  catterj

he Kings have been determined to see what this current group looks like early on this regular season

This is just stupid. If you’re Kingsguru and you don’t want to give up Fox or Halliburton, I get it. If you’re other folks who think Simmons isn’t worth much risk because he’ll turn into a malcontent, I get it. If you think he’s worth acquiring at a high cost, I get that too.

But if you’ve deluded yourself into thinking you don’t need Simmons at all because this 35 win team might be so good Simmons isn’t necessary, you shouldn’t be in an NBA front office.

AmateurNerd
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October 8, 2021 1:42 pm
Reply to  Carl

The thinking here must be that if Fox/Hali/Mitchell can light it up as a group, the team doesn’t need to spend other assets (Buddy, Bagley, picks) on Simmons–they can use those assets to get a player who fills a bigger need than perimeter playmaker/defender, like the ever-elusive small forward. And the longer Simmons remains untraded, the lower his value drops, making a Sac trade that much more feasible.

Inthestarz
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October 8, 2021 6:16 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

Nobody should think other assets are in the realm for Simmons

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October 8, 2021 1:44 pm
Reply to  Carl

But if you’ve deluded yourself into thinking you don’t need Simmons at all because this 35 win team might be so good Simmons isn’t necessary, you shouldn’t be in an NBA front office.

The issue is price, not whether or not acquiring Simmons is really worth it. If I haven’t made that clear, well, let’s just say I would have said I had made that clear even if I haven’t said it in recent weeks.

My issue with trading for Ben Simmons isn’t I’m not willing to trade for potential, only what you’re likely to really get when you actually acquire him. I also won’t pay full price due to that very large contract that he’s not really worth (that goes up with the trade bonus that will not be waived I can guarantee it).

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October 8, 2021 1:44 pm
Reply to  Carl

I doubt that anyone actually believes that, but wail away at the premise if you must.

The only way to know is to find out, but I find the argument that the cost of acquiring Simmons could preclude any large improvement in wins to be rather compelling. Even dispensing with the fact that he utterly lacks the most basic skill in the game, I’m not confident that changing scenery from a contender to the Futility Hall of Fame will bring him out of his funk.

Carl
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October 9, 2021 9:01 am
Reply to  andy_sims

.

Last edited 1 year ago by Carl
BuffaloDiaspora
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October 8, 2021 2:05 pm
Reply to  Carl

Morey was clearly being unreasonable and the rumors are that he’s still being completely unreasonable. As long as Monte let him know what is and is not on the table and left it at “give me a call if you want to talk about the assets we’re willing to part with”, I’m fine with that.

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October 8, 2021 4:37 pm
Reply to  Carl

If you were interested in a player and other teams thought you were interested in a player, this is probably what you would say. It’s no more ridiculous than the Sixers absurd trade demands or the idea that they’ll just never trade Simmons and make him sit and miss checks for the next four years.

Eventually, probably somewhere early this season, this will become a distraction, the Sixers will lose a couple games in a row and another team will start slow and he’ll get moved for a deal somewhere in between what we’ve seen thus far. Will it be the Kings? Probably not because there are other teams out there but I would be shocked if it doesn’t play out this way.

Last edited 1 year ago by ForKingsandCountry
ScottyPop
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October 9, 2021 11:29 am
Reply to  catterj

Looks like a receipt to me

bignerd
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October 8, 2021 10:44 am

Fox
Haliburton
Mitchell
Simmons

Could they beat every Kings team the last 15 seasons playing 4 on 5. The problem is Walton, equivalent of adding -.5 player on the court.

I’m on the only make the trade if the Kings can keep their other three pieces, which makes the trade 98% not likely.

Kosta
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October 8, 2021 10:48 am
Reply to  bignerd

I’d love for this to happen, but yeah, probably have to give up at least one of those 3 guys.

I’d much rather depart with Bagley and Buddy, but I don’t think Morey would go for that.

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October 8, 2021 1:47 pm
Reply to  Kosta

I would be dancing for quite awhile if I found out the Kings gave up Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley and 2 (even unprotected) FRP’s for Ben Simmons.

That’s the ideal trade for Sacramento. I just think the Sixers would rather have Harrison Barnes if it came down to Barnes or Hield.

Kosta
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October 8, 2021 2:43 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

D’oh! I meant “part” not “depart”. I don’t want to depart!

I’d be fine with giving Harrison up to get Simmons.

rockbottom
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October 9, 2021 3:38 am
Reply to  Kosta

Add a top 10 protected pick and he might ! Kings would need to trade two significant contracts or not possible to fit Simmons under cap !

andy_sims
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October 8, 2021 1:41 pm
Reply to  bignerd

[watches Demarcus Cousins score 200 points on 100 dunks]

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October 8, 2021 6:33 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

The other side will get some free throws off of the technicals.

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Nostradumbass 14
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October 8, 2021 11:10 am

So after hearing of the Philly’s ask to Portland of C.J. McCollum, 3 pick swaps and 3 first round picks it got me thinking. If the Kings offered 3 picks, 3 swaps (over the next 6 years) and a package of Mitchell, Bagley and Buddy or Barnes, does Morey take it? Do the Kings offer it?

Kosta
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October 8, 2021 11:16 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Our first round picks are likely to be more valuable than Portland’s, but McCollum is probably more enticing to Morey than the Kings you mentioned.

All those picks are pretty nice, though I thought Morey would’ve been more interested in getting something back to help his team right now in it’s current pursuit of a championship?

Last edited 1 year ago by Kosta
catterj
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October 8, 2021 11:18 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Morey might want Halliburton instead of Mitchell. Maybe adding Barnes to Mitchell does it. I doubt Kings offer their side.

Personally, I’d balk at three picks and three pick swaps. If I was the Heat or Lakers, known to attract great free agents, I’d be more inclined to deal those picks. Kings are a small market and big free agents do not sign here; plus we may finally have a front office that can draft well. I’d keep more of the picks and say no to some of the swaps.

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October 8, 2021 11:31 am
Reply to  catterj

I guess the swaps don’t bother me as much. I figure the Kings would be better with Simmons, likely a playoff team and the 76es may take a dip in the standings. Wouldn’t a playoff team in the West be pretty on par in the standing with a playoff team in the East? Those swaps might be something like giving up the #17 for the #20 in a year or two. In 3 years the core of Fox, Hali, and Ben could very well be better than Philly’s core of Embiid and whoever else they have, right?

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October 8, 2021 12:45 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Yeah I suppose you have the best reasonable projection for the swaps, and they might not be matter at all to the Kings. But at the same time the future is impossible to predict. I’d be leery, but I guess I’d include swaps in a deal.

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October 8, 2021 11:19 am
Reply to  Adamsite

If Fox, Hali and Davion are not included, I’d be fine with three top three protected firsts.
But giving up a bunch of firsts and pick swaps hamstrings a franchise like the Kings too much. Marquee franchises like the Lakers and Nets can do that because they can build through FA and not the draft, for a team like the Kings, the draft is the only possible way to build. So in my view, it doesn’t make sense to give up so many firsts and swaps.

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October 8, 2021 6:36 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

As Kings fans we fantasize that Bagley has value in a trade. He has been shopped to any basketball team in the universe. He is still here……

Bagley is not going to get any deal done.

TheGrantNapear
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October 8, 2021 11:14 am

I honestly don’t know if trading for Simmons makes sense, but damn, what a write-up Giraffe. You have a gift when it comes to writing.

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October 8, 2021 11:26 am

Unless the 76ers asking price comes down, not willing to give up 3 first round picks and 3 pick swaps and Barnes/Hali. If I am the 76ers, I am asking for Barnes and Hali, not Buddy/Bagley package.
 
The sweet spot may be Buddy/Barnes, 2 firsts
and 1 pick swap in between. Obviously would prefer the Buddy/Bagely package,
but Bagley is not worth anything today…..maybe by mid season if healthy and
plays some resemblance of D and uses his right hand and is not a complete black
hole on offense….. likelihood the same as me winning the powerball lottery…..

The Kangz need to do something if they want to get out of groundhogs day….. Simmons may be the start….

TonyXypteras
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October 8, 2021 11:45 am

Good stuff Tim! It’s a gamble, as most big trades are to some degree, but I still think it’s a shot worth taking.

1951
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October 8, 2021 1:04 pm
Reply to  TonyXypteras

comment image

andy_sims
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October 8, 2021 12:48 pm

Well, you did threaten to do a novella-sized piece about Simmons, so kudos for following through.

It covers a lot of ground, but it all starts from a place of bias, and really never moves away from it. I don’t intend to play ping-pong on every point, but there are some things that put things in a light favorable to the author’s point of view, which is that if Ben Simmons can be had, not doing so would constitute dereliction of duty.

He’s a Rorschach Test of what one wishes to see in a player

This is a nice way of saying that some of us are unable to objectively look at Simmons, and however any of us felt about him in June is far too entrenched in their opinion to see things as they are. Which, of course, is that Ben Simmons should be had at damned near any cost. It’s insulting. What the readers don’t understand is…

a perfect Robin or co-manager, but not the number one option for a contending team.While that label may seem a bit harsh for a career winner who has gobbled up multiple awards,

I can’t seem to square the circle on these adjoining statements. Starting from the top, you note correctly that Simmons isn’t the kind of player who can function as the de facto leader on a contender. So, assuming that Fox doesn’t go out while Simmons comes in, then Simmons continues, as ever, as a very good complementary piece, except now he’s playing for a losing franchise, instead of a winner. Can you honestly expect Simmons to maintain his level of excellence in areas where he shines, while playing for a lesser team?

The other part here is the repeated insistence that Simmons, by playing for winning teams, is therefore “a winner.” Let’s examine that.

Simmons has been in the league for five years, but has played in only the most recent four. Injuries happen, and his situation shouldn’t be held against him. If we were to look at the first four seasons of another all-star player, say Peja Stojakovic, we might assert that he is also a winner, since his teams did well during that time. Is it being objective to grant a status like that to a player who may be the roster’s third or fourth-best player?

If you take those excellent Kings teams, but remove Chris Webber, are we still comfortable using that label for his teammates? How much worse is the record over four years without Webber? It’s still a pretty good team, but does it win 55-60 games? Not a chance. I suspect things would spiral more dramatically in Philadelphia if Embiid went away.

He can fill every gap for the Kings, and he would do so at a much higher level than almost anyone else on the roster.

Not even factoring in draft picks, are we not going to acknowledge that if Simmons comes in, a likely result is that Hield goes out? If that’s all there was to it, then sure, why not? That’s an easy decision.

But it won’t play out like that. The Sixers are going to insist on getting at least one other starting-caliber player, and given their roster, we’re probably talking about a second guy who can shoot the ass off the ball. Hield shoots a great percentage on elite shot volume. Simmons would fill some gaps, but his arrival, it must be acknowledged, creates another that can’t be glossed over. Oversimplifying the situation in this manner doesn’t work for me, whether I agree with you or not.

Geez, I’ve barely started. Let’s put a pin in this.

Adamsite
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October 8, 2021 1:34 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

It’s pretty black and white for me when it comes to this:

The other part here is the repeated insistence that Simmons, by playing for winning teams, is therefore “a winner.” Let’s examine that.

The 76ers went 28-59 in the year before Ben played. They had Embiid for only 31 games that year and were 12-25 in January before he was shut down for the rest of the season. Had Embiid stayed healthy and the 76ers continued at that rate, they would have been on pace for 39 wins. The next year, Ben’s official rookie season, the 76ers went 52-30. Ben played 81 games to Embiid’s 63. Even with the addition of Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris in 2018-19, the 76ers still only won 51 games.

In the one down year for Ben (2019-20 shortened season) in which he played just 53 out of 73 games, the 76ers went 43-30. The less he played, the less they won.

From that, I’d say Ben was a pretty major piece to making the 76ers “a winner.” IMO, Ben has been the outlier to the team performing at a near championship level since his rookie year. I’ll say this, If this stalemate continues into the season, it will be interesting to see how the 76ers perform without him.

Now to this point:

If you take those excellent Kings teams, but remove Chris Webber, are we still comfortable using that label for his teammates?

In the year of Webber’s recovery and suspension (03-04) the Kings were 45-15, best in the NBA, the day Webber returned to action. The team struggled to get Webber back into the flow of the team, but continued to play him. They stumbled into the playoffs.

Peja was having an MVP type season and finished 4th on the ballot.

RattleSeattle96
October 8, 2021 11:07 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I agree with your point but the math seems off. You said they were 28-59 the year before Ben played but that would equal a 87 game season. Also 12-25 before shutting Embiid down for the season doesn’t extrapolate to a 39 win season.

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October 10, 2021 3:28 pm

My apologies, it was a typo. It should read 28 and 54. And my math was way off it is actually closer to 24-25 wins and not a 39 win season. I guess it strengthens my point that Ben is the catalyst.

Marty
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October 8, 2021 12:48 pm

As a franchise constantly scanning the league for discarded assets and diamonds in the rough, talented-if-imperfect players always draw Sacramento’s eye, as they’re often the most realistic solution for pushing the organization to the next level. 

Down is a level.

1951
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October 8, 2021 1:02 pm
Reply to  Marty

Says the guy who used to want to trade Embiid to build around Simmons? 😉

Adamsite
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October 8, 2021 12:49 pm

LOL, wasn’t yesterday a rest day for the Kings?

1951
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October 8, 2021 1:07 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I don’t want to overreact but …
comment image

Last edited 1 year ago by 1951