Atlantic Rumors: Simmons, Sixers, Knicks, Raptors

The fact that Ben Simmons isn’t working out for the Sixers shouldn’t be viewed as a decision that reflects poorly on the franchise or one that will have a huge impact on Philadelphia’s choice at No. 1, writes Derek Bodner of As Bodner points out, it appears that Simmons won’t be working out for any teams, so his decision is likely more about playing it safe and not hurting his stock, rather than trying to manipulate his landing spot.

Bodner also examines Bryan Colangelo‘s recent assertion that the Sixers’ decision regarding the first overall pick “changes every day,” suggesting that the GM’s statement sounded somewhat flippant, and probably shouldn’t be taken literally. For what it’s worth, multiple league sources continue to tell Bodner that Simmons is the “prohibitive favorite” to be Philadelphia’s pick to kick off the draft next Thursday.

Let’s round up a few more items from out of the Atlantic….

  • The Knicks don’t have a pick in this year’s draft, but they plan to acquire one, and continue to bring in prospects for pre-draft workouts. According to a pair of reports from Ian Begley of, New York worked out Shawn Long (Louisiana-Lafayette), Cat Barber (N.C. State), and Chris Fowler (Central Michigan) on Wednesday.
  • New Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek is eyeing Raptors assistant Andy Greer as a potential addition to his staff in New York, says ESPN’s Marc Stein (Twitter links). According to Stein, Toronto is making a strong effort to hang onto Greer, who has also drawn interest from the Timberwolves.
  • Doug Smith of The Toronto Star doesn’t expect the Raptors to make a trade to clear the cap room necessary to re-sign Bismack Biyombo, and he doesn’t expect the free-agent-to-be to take 50 cents on the dollar to remain in Toronto. In Smith’s view, the Raptors and their fans to accept that they’ll bidding adieu to Biyombo soon.
  • A. Sherrod Blakely of presents five reasons why the Celtics may not be inclined to make a trade push for Kevin Love this summer.
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6 thoughts on “Atlantic Rumors: Simmons, Sixers, Knicks, Raptors

  1. Ravens_Last_Place

    If the Sixers draft Ingram or anyone other than Simmons they will be making a huge mistake. Simmons may never reach his potential, but at least the potential is there to become a mega star. If you have the #1 overall pick and a franchise as pathetic as the Sixers, you gotta draft Simmons.

    • Dionis Beato

      To call a NBA franchise pathetic Is overboard. Sixers will be out of this whole pretty soon, they got boat loads of draft picks And wont bust in this NBA draft with either Ingram or Simmons. Thats one building block plus they can trade picks for another star and compete for a playoff Spot Néxt season depending how good Embiid comes back.

    • Agreed, no reason for them not to draft Simmons. But if/when they do, they should look to just build around one of their centers (preferbly Embiid, if healthy, or Noel) and trade the other two. The team will be absolutely terrible if the team keeps Noel and Embiid unless one comes off the bench for the other. This is purely because every team needs decent spacing to be effective…which a frontcourt of Simmons/Noel/Embiid will not be able to give. Also Simmons seems like he’d fit better at the 4 rather than at the 3.

      • cjelepis

        I agree they should take Simmons, but I don’t agree that embiid/Noel can’t coexist. What we need is a solid PG to manage the court. Noel doesn’t provide enough offense to really worry about his court spacing – just drop him low and hope for 10 pts a night and solid d. Trade okafor. Now. And go get Kris Dunn. Or Jamal Murray. Or buddy hield. Anyone who can effectively get the ball down low to embiid or out to simmons.

        • The problem with having Noel/Embiid/Okafor/Simmons is that they take up the same/similar space. Besides the fact that the Sixers have no real shooters on the team, opposing teams are going to stack the paint. That means a lot of double teams (dare the perimeter guys to hit their shots from outside), limited drives because there is no space (and no one to “kick it” to), and the few occasions where the bigs don’t get double teamed, the other defenders will be close enough that they can’t use their whole array of moves. No team successfully deploys two big men who occupy the same space without one of them being able to at least hit the occasional deep jumper/three. Memphis would be the closest example, but Gasol and Randolph are at least able to hit the occasional mid range jumper. If you need an example of the importance of spacing, just look at the two teams in the Finals.

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