Atlanta Hawks: Trading Trae Young for Ben Simmons?

If the Philadelphia 76ers offered the Atlanta Hawks, Ben Simmons in a trade, straight up in exchange for Trae Young who says no?

The Atlanta Hawks are seemingly on the up and up with the growth of their young talent and the emergence of first-time All-Star point guard Trae Young. The future of this team appears to be bright and much of that is due to the forever controversial approach of tanking.

The Hawks have had three top 10 picks over the past two drafts and they’ll add a fourth in this year’s draft. So far, the first three picks netted Trae Young, Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter which all appear to be hits. If they can hit on this years draft pick they will position themselves even better for the future.

However, one question still remains surrounding the Atlanta Hawks. Can Trae Young be the best player on a championship-level team? Trae Young garners comparisons to Stephen Curry and Steve Nash, both of which had to answer the same question.

If the Hawks believe Trae Young will be able to do it, similar to Stephen Curry, they need to do everything they can to build a championship team around him. But if they believe he can’t do it, they may need to explore a trade in the not so distant future.

Many teams in the past that have been on the brink of success like the Hawks have traded their star player in order to take the leap. For example, the reigning NBA champion Toronto Raptors traded DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard. That trade gave the Raptors the boost they needed to win an NBA championship.

If the Hawks are serious about making the playoffs and threatening to win a championship in the next four to five seasons, they will need to be ready to make a similar move.

Bleacher report recently proposed 1 Blockbuster Trade for Every NBA Team’s Top Star and they proposed this trade for the Atlanta Hawks:

Hawks Get
Ben Simmons
76ers Get
Trae Young

This trade is incredibly interesting because it’s difficult to see a major flaw in it for either team.

The Atlanta Hawks get much better defensively by adding Ben Simmons but they lose any sort of outside shooting from the point guard spot and that likely wouldn’t work with their current roster. The Philadelphia 76ers get a lot worse defensively but add some much needed three-point shooting and offensive creation.

If the Atlanta Hawks did this trade they would almost certainly need to trade Clint Capela as well because you simply cannot have two non-shooters on the floor at the same time in the modern NBA. That’s the primary reason why the Houston Rockets traded Capela is because he couldn’t play with Russell Westbrook.

This would also mean that the Hawks would likely need to slide John Collins down to play center and thus could trade Capela for a stretch four or a three and D wing. Considering the fact that this trade would require the Hawks to make another trade, I think the Hawks may actually say no to this hypothetical trade.

From the 76ers perspective though, I think they would want to do this trade badly. They already have an elite defense with Joel Embiid, Al Horford, Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson so they could make up for Young’s lapses on that end. And Trae Young would be the perfect second option beside Embiid.

Trae Young and Ben Simmons do many different things on the basketball floor, in fact, they’re essentially polar opposites. Trae Young is a great shooter, Ben Simmons is a horrible shooter. Trae Young is a terrible defender, Ben Simmons is a great defender. The one attribute they both have is playmaking.

Trae Young this season was the second leading assist man in the NBA with 9.3 assists per game and Ben Simmons was the fifth leading assist man at 8.2 assists per game. Therefore, this trade essentially comes down to fit, as Young and Simmons are effectively equally talented players.

At this current moment in time, the fit of Trae Young makes more sense for the Philadelphia 76ers than the fit of Ben Simmons does on the Atlanta Hawks. Thus, the 76ers would likely need to add an additional sweetener to make this trade happen.

Overall, this is a super interesting hypothetical trade that may have the possibility of one day happening.

Next: 4 Worst Draft Picks In Atlanta Hawks History