Somewhere in his plush corner office, Atlanta Hawks GM Travis Schlenk has a big board, lined with names of potential trade prospects for the Atlanta Hawks this offseason.
But only Travis and Hawks HC Nate McMillian know how far down that list you have to skim until you come to current Brooklyn Nets PG/PF Ben Simmons.
When the 76ers made Ben Simmons the first pick overall in the 2016 NBA Draft, many believed he would have Magic Johnson like affect on the Philadelphia franchise. Standing 6’10, Simmons has a skill set that few players in the history of the game, have ever possessed.
Unfortunately for Simmons, his career in Philadelphia was derailed by injuries and a much maligned on court lack of confidence that ultimately led to his being traded to the Brooklyn Nets midway through this past season.
Simmons, did not play a single game for the Nets after being acquired at the trade deadline, and has recently announced that he will need off season back surgery heading in the 2022-23 season.
With this new development, could Simmons be available at a bargain price?
The Nets have not made any announcements about their long term plans for a still relatively young Simmons, who will only be 26 at the start of the new league season in October.
But will Brooklyn GM Sean Marks be content to keeping Simmons on the roster for another season if the former All Star needs the entire season to recover from his upcoming surgery?
If the Hawks could acquire Simmons without having to trade multiple #1 picks away, Travis Schlenk could sell the Atlanta Hawks fan base and more importantly Atlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler, who let it be known publicly that he expects better results next season, that waiting on Simmons to recover would be worth the investment.
Let the NBA summer of 2022 begin!