Brooklyn Nets: Sean Marks can’t entertain a Ben Simmons-Kyrie Irving trade

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 14: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles the ball against Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 14: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles the ball against Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets started off the 2021-22 NBA season without the services of Kyrie Irving due to his refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and they are somehow not the most chaotic team in their own division right now. We have the Philadelphia 76ers and Ben Simmons to thank for that.

Simmons and the 76ers crashed out of the postseason against the Atlanta Hawks last year, and a large part of that was Simmons’ own refusal to take shots in the fourth quarter. His flaws as a player started to bubble to the surface, and the fan reaction in response to his poor play sealed his ticket out of Philly.

Simmons has been very open in his request to be traded away from Philadelphia, going so far as to get kicked out of practice for refusing to participate in a defensive drill.

Between Morey’s insistence on getting a haul for him and Simmons refusing to cooperate, it looks like he’s done playing in Philadelphia…but…when?

On the surface, trading Irving for Simmons makes sense for their respective teams. Neither of them are playing, so a team that needs perimeter scoring gets a master in Irving and a team in need of elite defense can add Simmons.

However, the last few days likely eliminated the possibility of a Simmons trade in the eyes of Sean Marks.

With Simmons now likely due to sit out against Brooklyn due to being both “not mentally ready” and afflicted by a back injury of mysterious origin, it’s best if the Nets just nix this trade possibility. Adding a petulant Simmons might not be the big positive the Nets might believe it will be.

The Brooklyn Nets shouldn’t trade Kyrie Irving for Ben Simmons.

Doing this deal would mean that the Nets would hand over one of the premier scorers in this game to a division rival and one of their chief competitors for the Eastern Conference title. Why would the Nets want to give Philly that kind of firepower if the only player that they are going to get in return is Simmons?

Let’s just look at the on-court stuff. Simmons is an awful shooter and he’s not going to get much better in a short span of time. In fact, that’s one of his main sources of irritation with Philadelphia. In Brooklyn, he’ll have the ball in his hands plenty, so a refusal to shoot is totally counterintuitive to what Steve Nash wants to do.

Now let’s look at the off-court stuff. Simmons had a role as the No. 2 option on a title team that wasn’t even asking him to improve his offensive game that much. Not only did he force his way out of there, but he did so in such a way that made him completely unattractive to any prospective buyer.

If Simmons is going to act like this in Philadelphia, why should the Nets just assume that he is going to fall in line and improve his offensive game? The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, and the Nets could risk upsetting their entire flow by adding Simmons and sending Irving to a rival.

Simmons is a great case study in why being a great fit might not work out in real life. He fills a big need for the Nets, but their only path towards acquiring him is to hand a rival an annual All-Star like Irving on a silver platter.

The best thing Simmons can do to help the Brooklyn Nets is to be as childish as possible, as it deprives Philly of an All-Defensive Team defender and makes it harder for them to offload his contract. Sean Marks needs to let Philly twist in the wind.