Warriors' Joe Lacob: Ben Simmons Trade 'Doesn't Really Fit What We're Doing'

Adam WellsSeptember 22, 2021

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) goes to the basket during their NBA playoff basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks Saturday, June 12, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
AP Photo/John Bazemore

If Ben Simmons gets traded by the Philadelphia 76ers, it doesn't sound like the Golden State Warriors are going to be the team that acquires the All-Star point guard. 

Warriors owner Joe Lacob told Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle that the team "would always look" at a player who could potentially improve their roster, but Simmons "doesn’t really fit what we’re doing."

Lacob specifically cited the similar playing styles between Simmons and Draymond Green as a main reason why he wouldn't necessarily fit their roster. 

"He makes a lot of money. And, can he finish games? I don’t know,” said Lacob. “He’s very talented. The problem is: We have Draymond. Draymond and him are very similar in the sense that neither one really shoots and they do a lot of the playmaking. That’s one issue. The salary structure is another.”

Simmons' future remains the biggest question in the NBA with training camps set to begin next week. 

On Tuesday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Simmons won't report to the Sixers when camp opens and told team management he "has no plans to wear an NBA uniform again until he is moved to a new team."

As Lacob noted, the Warriors would also have a difficult time figuring out how to build a deal around Simmons' $33 million salary. They already have the highest projected salary cap in the NBA for the 2021-22 season ($187.9 million). 

Andrew Wiggins' $31.58 million salary is close to matching, but it's hard to imagine the Sixers building a trade for their 25-year-old three-time All-Star around Wiggins and potentially some combination of young players like James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody. 

The Warriors are also well-positioned to get better during the season. Klay Thompson is likely to return from his torn Achilles in December. 

If Thompson can play anywhere close to his All-Star level from 2015-19, alongside Green and Stephen Curry, they could have the highest ceiling of any team in the Western Conference this season without making any additional moves.