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Kings Pulse: Understanding Ben Simmons and his fit in Sacramento w/ Jackson Frank

Jackson Frank joins the show to give some insight into Ben Simmons and potential deals.

The Ben Simmons talk seems to never stop. To get a better understanding of Simmons as a player I reached out to Jackson Frank, who covers the Philadelphia 76ers and NBA for many outlets.

Simmons finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting last season, and Jackson breaks down why he views Simmons as one of, if not the, best perimeter defender in the NBA. He has impressive versatility at 6'10" and had proven that with the variety of players he has been assigned to.

I felt like the Simmons hate from his recent playoff struggles was overblown and possibly a product of the longtime questions surrounding his fit alongside Joel Embiid. Jackson gave his perspective on this situation and the recent ridicule Simmons has received.

Many wonder what growth Ben Simmons has shown throughout his four years in the league, and we dive into what that has been along with the progress that still needs to come.

As for an eventual trade, the conversation begins with what skillsets Philadelphia is searching for in return. Sorry to break it to you, but Tyrese Haliburton is a perfect fit for them and the likelihood of Haliburton being a better player than Simmons seems low.

Not saying I would pull the trigger on trading Haliburton for Simmons, you'll have to listen in to hear us talking through that debate. As for Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley, they may not be as appealing to the 76ers are some seem to believe. Maybe Harrison Barnes?

Jackson explains why outside of Haliburton, draft capital could be a focal point in a Ben Simmons deal to flip down the line. We end the show by comparing the hypothetical Kings offer to Golden State, Minnesota, Portland, Indiana, and San Antonio.

What would you offer the Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons and where did you differ or agree with Jackson and I?

The Kings Pulse podcast is available on all major listening platforms.

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SexyNapear
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September 2, 2021 3:09 pm

Okay, here’s my final offer. Fox for Siakam. Forget Simmons. Davion, Hield, Hali, Siakam, Homes. Terrence, Barnes off bench.

Henry
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September 2, 2021 4:20 pm
Reply to  SexyNapear

I like Siakam, and would rather have him than Simmons as well. But I think that’s selling a bit low on Fox. I feel that Fox can go up another gear. While Siakam can still improve and be more consistent, he mainly is who he is at this point.

9sac8
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September 3, 2021 6:18 am
Reply to  Henry

Meh…give me Simmons. Walking double-double for us at PF. Him scoring is an added bonus.

Fox
Hali
Barnes
Simmons
Holmes and the other 17 centers we have.

That’s a pretty solid line-up.

TerzoM
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September 2, 2021 3:19 pm

You Cray-Cray Phillycomment image

Rosevillain
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September 2, 2021 3:36 pm

Someone, please tell me why I waste so much time on this pathetic, cowardly, low-stakes team?

rockbottom
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September 2, 2021 7:30 pm
Reply to  Rosevillain

Hope springs eternal ! Or at least until it does not ! Agree that it’s getting close !w

Rosevillain
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September 2, 2021 7:44 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

All this talk about maintaining flexibility to take a big swing. As if this isn’t precisely that situation. As if there was ever one like this in the history of the Sacramento Kings. A legit star is available, reports miraculously suggest Sac is one of his choices, and we have the assets to pull it off. Our response, nah we’re good, were gonna run this 30 win trainwreck back again. It reeks of Doncic to me. A gift from the gods, and you’re the only one in the world who can’t see it.

AnybodyButBagley
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September 2, 2021 9:25 pm
Reply to  Rosevillain

One of the goals of the team has been to be consistent in its approach and system of basketball. Keep Walton and the same roster but add a bench this year. Probably going to win 33?

But it is consistent. Moving one of the many guards that is not an all star for an all star guard is craziness,

Rosevillain
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September 2, 2021 9:43 pm

We’ll all likely be dead before another available star says, “Sure Sac works, trade me there.”

BeTheBall
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September 3, 2021 1:25 pm
Reply to  Rosevillain

Which reports have suggested he wanted to come to Sacramento?

TerzoM
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September 2, 2021 4:48 pm

Who’s gonna lay an egg first?comment image

kings4ever
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September 2, 2021 7:33 pm

According to Sean Cunnigham, PHI covets Buddy Hield. For this reason and many others, this Philly Fan needs to step back from his Ty or Fox or no deal stance, it ain’t happening bro!

Simmons is a hypersensitive baby, a prima donna, who has not improved his offense in 4 years, but I still want him on my team. He’s fast versatile, we need his skills and we can hide his weaknesses, and nurture them through Rico Hines, until the weaknesses are not so glaring. I think we can get him. The only thing that has changed since this saga began is PHI’s leverage has decreased.

McGenius preying in wait, calculating and scheming, ready to go in for the kill, despite these fake reports. Let’s see if he capitalizes and earns his moniker all over again.

The way you win a negotiation is make the other side feel they have won when they haven’t, provide them with a sense of control when they’ve lost it. It has become relatively toxic in PHI, Doc Rivers is overrated and exhausting, his voice grates on the sense. I would not want to play for him. Simmons will always play second fiddle to the more beloved and charismatic and superior force in Embiid. 

After Simmons choked away the ATL series, which I keenly tuned in for all 7 games, while Bogi was doing his best to underperform to similar degree, a reporter asked Rivers if Simmons was “a championship level PG”. The coach equivocated, said he didn’t know. This is the pretense by which the agent Rich Paul and the player are wanting out. This is weak AF. 

Their argument as far as I can tell is the team has lost faith in him, do not believe in him, do not appreciate what he can do, but everyone saw his performance vs ATL. He choked, he was scared. Post game commentary from relevant parties was not going to alter perception in his favor. Embiid can send out all the make-nice tweets he wants well after the fact, it is too late in the mind of the unjustly offended.

Let the record show the coach did NOT throw Simmons under the bus. He was honest without being overtly critical or demeaning. His emotions were raw and he spoke from the heart. This is unforgivable and the basis for irreconciliable differences? If Simmons took ownerhip for his performance he would agree with the coach, agree he has much to prove, did not perform to his standards, use the perceived slight to become better. Instead he wants to run. 

Can you imagine the hell fire that would rain down on Superstar Fox if he choked and folded like Simmons, then wanted out of town as a result of his choking and folding under a bogus premise? Instead, the faithful around these parts, including Jerry Reynolds, want to trade Fox for Simmons?! Wow, just wow! Jerry Reynolds commentary has completely jumped the shark (more on this later). 

This is just an educated guess but I think Simmons decided he will never get the low to mid post touches playing with the best post player in the NBA. If he goes somewhere where his new team puts him in the post more, allow him to use his superior agility and size he can be a 20 PPG scorer, and close to a triple-double machine w/o having to shoot from distance. 

Simmons wants to go anywhere where the burden to shoot is mitigated, where the pressure to take and make 3s, even 15-20 footers, is less intense, where the history and slate is wiped clean. The rebounds and assists and elite defense will remain constant, but what he can do more of is be a low to mid post facilitator and scorer, including half hooks and runners in the lane. Embiid gets in the way of this vision. 

It was reported by Broussard Simmons is willing to play for any team, not just the three CA teams not named SAC. So he wants to play for ANY team, including SAC.  Let’s gooooooo!

How do we get him? Well if you listen to Jerry Reynolds, all we have to do (and should do) is trade away the superior player in Fox, though PHI has NO leverage, so lets overay for the inferior player and supreme choker because, “sometimes you have to take a gamble”??! 

There is a difference between calculated and miscalulated risk, mindless vs mindful. Often I see fans wanting to grant credit for risk-taking in and of itself.

If Vlade was in charge, the big doofus who had a better deal yesterday, I contend he would have flipped Marvin and / or Buddy for Porzingis one week into the off-season. He would have panicked and got skittish with two malcontents and justified it by saying “sometimes you have to take a gamble”. This is not an argument.

This is the depth of thought process of the dupe, the easy mark, failing to do proper risk assessment relative to reward. When Vlade chose Harry Giles, he of the two surgically repaired knees, he justified it by saying “injuries are part of the game”, underestimating the severity and effect on explosiveness. Harry was a good risk as a second round pick or undrafted FA signing, not a mid first rounder. This is another example of improper risk to opportunity analysis.

To address the other flawed logic, Fox would be a multi-time all-star, at least for the last two seasons, if running with Embiid in PHI. Simmons came into the league more physically mature than Fox. The only thing that kept Fox was individual greatness was the requisite strength (as I said from Day One). Fox put in the time in the weight room to eliminate his strength disadvantage and now no one can guard him.

The assertion Simmons is a multi-time all-star thereby elevating him above Fox is not is not compelling or convincing. Fox addressed the issue that delayed his stardom and now he’s unguardable. And now he has Davion to push him to greater heights on both ends, inspiring him to play as hard defensively and checking him in practice every day, making real games childs play. Fox’s career trajectory is up, up, up. Simmons trajectory is flat. Fox has a better personality attitude and maturity level. Jerry and others are missing or glossing over these fundamental points.

Ultimately it is not relevant because we are NOT trading Fox, NOT trading Ty, NOT trading Davion for Simmons! McGenius is NOT desperate or foolhardy, and he’s not pulling the trigger on a blockbuster unless the team is completely constructed thereafter, locked and loaded for 5-7 years to go deep into the playoffs with only tickering on the fringes needed. 

It would seem the teams are at impasse, no hope for a deal. Not so fast. The way Morey operates is he acquires assets and flips. Our picks and swaps would come in handy to add Lillard or Beal, around mid-season when POR and WAS likely falter and decide to blow it up. Isn’t that the ultimate prize to pair with Embiid: Beal or Lillard, to present serious threat to the Bucks and Nets? 

Beal and Lillard are not available at present so Morey can either sit indefinitely on Simmons, fine or suspend him for not showing up to camp, watch his value dwindle further, or he can try to accumulate assets he can forward along to WAS and POR when their receptivity improves.

Of course a deal would become more feasible if we included Davion. No way! We are not trading a player with ice water in his veins, who seizes the moment and all he does is win, dominate games with his defense, vs a guy who fell asleep on LSU, messed the bed for the basketball world to see in one of his biggest professional moments. Back up the Brinks truck for this choker, I dont think so!

This leaves Buddy, the player PHI covets, HB and future picks as our playable hand, incrementally adding picks and removal of protections to the point it becomes almost painful to part with so much. Then Morey feels he “won”, his ego satiated; he gets an immediate talent infusion with Buddy and HB; picks are reserved to make a run at Beal or Lillard. This is the most viable path I can see where PHI and SAC can come to terms.

Buddy, HB and unprotected picks sounds like too much for a choker who wants out, getting swept up in a fenzy of desire then regretting it. But the point where both teams feel like they are giving a lot and not getting enough back is the meeting place where deals get done, and from PHI perspective, NOT getting Davion or Ty is their perception of “not enough”. Even though PHI has no leverage, it only takes one other suitor, GSW, SAS, MIN, to swoop in and up the ante and outbid us for a player that would be our missing piece. We don’t even have a legit starting PF, unless Metu take a step, Marvin takes 4-5 steps, or we move Holmes to PF and start Len, which I would like to see in a three guard look. 

I did not mention Marvin in any scenarios because no one wants him. I predict if and when a deal occurs Marvin will stay in SAC, probably play out his contract and become UFA. Even if you are another team and like Marvin to a mild degree all you have to do is wait one season and get him on the cheap. We are not going to pick up his 14M QO even if he experiences a mini-resurgence, unlikely with the competition he will face for minutes. Morey would rather have throw-ins but valuable bench guys like Metu or TD added to Buddy and picks, more flippable in a package for Beal or Lillard, rather than a prima donna to replace the one he trades away. 

CrosseyedandPainless
September 2, 2021 8:08 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Look at all those words

Rosevillain
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September 2, 2021 8:21 pm

Do they say anything?

CrosseyedandPainless
September 2, 2021 8:38 pm
Reply to  Rosevillain

How the hell would I know?

Rosevillain
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September 2, 2021 8:49 pm

Maybe the editors can just publish him already? Throw him his badge and make him stop?

9sac8
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September 3, 2021 6:24 am

I tried.

Kingsguru21
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September 3, 2021 7:13 am
Reply to  9sac8

I’m going to succeed. Nobody ever complains about my long comments anymore because of K4E! I love it.

AnybodyButBagley
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September 2, 2021 9:27 pm

What did he say?

Putthegundown
September 2, 2021 9:37 pm

Damn you aren’t kidding .

rockbottom
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September 2, 2021 8:24 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Monte it is good to see a family member buys in !

ZillersCat
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September 3, 2021 6:34 am
Reply to  kings4ever

comment image

eddie41
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September 3, 2021 7:06 am
Reply to  kings4ever

in which podcast did Reynolds say that? I heard him say he’d put Fox and Haliburton off the table. That he’d give up a lot to get Simmons but not one of those two.

Kingsguru21
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September 3, 2021 7:54 am
Reply to  kings4ever

I think Jerry Reynolds hasn’t said so much that he would trade Fox for Simmons as that’s probably what it’s going to take. I disagree on that point, I don’t see Sac doing a Fox for Simmons swap. The idea is to pair them, not swap them for one another.

Disagree about Marvin. As I’ve said, I think the package is Barnes, Bagley and 2 FRPs. Maybe a swap but I’m not eager to add that. Money is a concern, Buddy + Barnes is more money than they want to take on IMO.

Agree about doing a deal to help the Sixers facilitate a Beal/Lillard swap down the line. But I think the issue has been convincing Sixers ownership, not Morey. I think he’s always known there was a long game and one trade won’t accomplish the end goal. He didn’t just trade pieces for James Harden, he acquired those players/assets over several years. But ownership isn’t always that patient.

McGenius rides again! Agree with most of your comment, K4e!

Inthestarz
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September 2, 2021 10:49 pm

I think both host/guest shot changed Mitchell, who looked every bit the 9 pick in summer league

Adding him to a package increases the odds a lot. Philly isnt getting any better young prospect

9sac8
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