NBA Rumors: Hawks 'Emerging Suitor' For Sixers Star Ben Simmons, Says Marc Stein

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JB Baruelo

After making a surprise appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals last year, most people are expecting Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks to make a huge noise in the 2021-22 NBA season. Unfortunately, the Hawks haven't lived up to expectations from them this season. As of now, they have lost six of their last 10 games, sitting in the No. 12 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 17-20 record.

If they are still serious about capturing the Larry O'Brien Trophy, the Hawks should strongly consider improving their roster around Young before the 2022 NBA trade deadline.

Hawks Interested In Ben Simmons

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So far, the Hawks have already been linked to several big names who are rumored to be available on the trading block. These include All-Star point guard Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers. In his substack newsletter, NBA insider Marc Stein revealed that the Hawks are "emerging suitor" for Simmons before the 2022 NBA trade deadline.

“It was suggested to me this week by one league source to keep an eye on Atlanta as an emerging suitor for Philadelphia’s Simmons," Stein wrote, as quoted by NBA Central, via Twitter.

Ben Simmons A Solution To Hawks' Struggling Defense

Targeting Simmons would make a lot of sense for the Hawks. Simmons may still have some major flaws in his game but if he could regain his confidence on the court, he could help the Hawks become a more competitive team in the Eastern Conference this season. His potential arrival in Atlanta would help the Hawks improve their defensive efficiency that currently ranks No. 27 in the league, allowing 111.3 points per 100 possessions, per ESPN.

In crucial situations, Hawks head coach Nate McMillan could task Simmons to guard the opposing team's best player.

Proposed Trade To Acquire Ben Simmons

The Hawks might not currently have the assets that Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey is seeking in the Simmons deal, but it won't hurt them to try to make an offer. In a recent article, Brett Siegel of NBA Analysis Network discussed what would it take for the Hawks to acquire Simmons from the Sixers before the 2022 NBA trade deadline.

According to Siegel, the Hawks could use Cam Reddish, Danilo Gallinari, and Delon Wright as trade chips in the potential Simmons deal. To convince the Sixers to engage in a blockbuster deal, Siegel also suggested that the Hawks could ask help from the Portland Trail Blazers, Indiana Pacers, or the Toronto Raptors to help them facilitate the trade.

Consequence Of Trading For Ben Simmons

While there will be benefits, the Hawks could also face some consequences from bringing Simmons to Atlanta. Though the successful acquisition of Simmons is expected to address their poor defense, Grant Afseth of Sports Illustrated opened up the possibility that the addition of Simmons could have a negative impact on the Hawks' performance on the offensive end of the floor.

"As for any team, Atlanta would need to account for the limitations on offense Simmons poses," Afseth wrote. "For example, is there enough spacing with Clint Capela and Simmons sharing the floor? Would Simmons be open to a small ball center role?"