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Report: Ben Simmons Trade for Pacers' Malcolm Brogdon, 1st-Rounder Rejected by 76ers

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 2, 2021

AP Photo/Nick Wass, File

The Philadelphia 76ers reportedly turned down a significant trade offer from the Indiana Pacers for guard Ben Simmons.

According to Jason Dumas of KRON4 News, the Sixers rejected an offer that included guard Malcolm Brogdon and a first-round pick going from Indiana to Philly for Simmons.

Speculation regarding Simmons' future with the 76ers has run rampant since he performed poorly during the second round of the playoffs and the top-seeded Sixers were surprisingly eliminated by the Atlanta Hawks.

The 24-year-old Simmons was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft, and while he has done some good things during his career, he hasn't blossomed into a great offensive player.

He owns career averages of 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game, although those numbers were down this season to the tune of 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists.

Despite that, Simmons was named an All-Star for the third consecutive season, and he finished second to Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert in the NBA Defensive Player of the Year voting.

Simmons is an elite defender and quality playmaker, but those traits weren't enough to mask his deficiencies during the Sixers' playoff run this season.

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In 12 postseason contests, Simmons averaged just 11.9 points to go along with 8.8 assists and 7.9 rebounds. He did shoot 62.1 percent from the field, but he attempted less than eight shots per game and converted a mere 34.2 percent of his free-throw attempts as well.

Simmons had an especially difficult time against Atlanta in the second round, averaging only 9.9 points per game and not attempting a shot in the fourth quarter of any of the final four games of the series.

While Simmons has largely underachieved during his NBA career, the 28-year-old Brogdon is a classic overachiever.

A second-round pick out of Virginia by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2016, Brogdon shockingly won the NBA Rookie of the Year award—Simmons missed the entire year with an injury.

Brogdon was traded from Milwaukee to Indiana in 2019, and he has made huge strides since that move.

He is coming off the best statistical season of his career, averaging 21.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.6 three-pointers made per game in 56 contests. He also shot 45.3 percent from the field, 38.8 percent from beyond the arc and 86.4 percent from the free-throw line.

In many ways, Brogdon is a polar-opposite player to Simmons, as he thrives from a scoring perspective, especially from three-point range and the charity stripe, while his defense and playmaking lag behind a bit.

Brogdon is a somewhat unheralded player compared to Simmons, but it can be argued he is a better fit for what the Sixers need in terms of being a scoring guard who can complement center Joel Embiid.

If the Sixers did indeed turn down such an offer from Indiana, it suggests they still see a great deal of potential in Simmons and value the fact that he is only 24 years old.

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