It’s not just talking heads who think the Sixers should explore dealing the onetime No. 1 pick. None other than NBA legend Magic Johnson argued for such a move on ESPN this morning.
In an appearance on First Take, Johnson acknowledged that while Simmons brings a lot to the table as a defender and passer, his scoring no-show in this year’s playoffs and overall offensive liabilities are too much for him to overcome in Philly any longer.
“All of those things are true, but sometimes you need new scenery and a new team,” Johnson explained. “Because when you lose your confidence in the playoffs, and everybody is counting on you to perform at a high level and you don’t, you’ve got to go. He’s got to go find a new home.”
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) June 21, 2021
Simmons set an NBA record for the worst free-throw percentage in a single postseason and somehow managed to attempt only three fourth-quarter field goals in a seven-game series against the Atlanta Hawks. None of those attempts came in the final four games of the series.
By the fourth quarter of last night’s Game 7 loss, it was blatantly obvious that Simmons didn’t trust himself to shoot at all, no matter how easy of an attempt he had. This is a major problem, and he seemed to draw the ire of teammate Joel Embiid with his passivity.
We’ll have to wait and see what Simmons’ future looks like, but we tend to agree with Magic and Stephen A. Philly should look to give him a fresh start.