Sixers: Ranking hypothetical Ben Simmons trade targets

Ben Simmons, Malcolm Brogdon, Sixers Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Ben Simmons, Malcolm Brogdon, Sixers Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Ranking Sixers’ hypothetical Ben Simmons trade targets: It would take more

8. Gordon Hayward

Gordon Hayward experienced a renaissance of sorts in Charlotte last season, but he’s still a wing, not a point guard. The Sixers really need an elite perimeter creator to take this offense to the next level, and even if Charlotte were to incorporate Terry Rozier into a trade, that doesn’t really solve Philadelphia’s core problems.

Last season, Hayward averaged 19.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 4.1 assists. He’s the ideal complementary star on paper — a versatile defender and ancillary playmaker who can move the ball, get to his spots as a scorer, and hit 41.5 percent of his 3s. He would do no small amount of good in Philadelphia, but with Simmons on the way out, it would take more — it would take, at the very least, another high-level player on the perimeter who can play the role of table-setter for a Philadelphia offense in desperate need of stability at point guard.

Hayward is a top-50 NBA player who still has enough juice to contribute on a contender. He fits, no doubt. But he alone is not enough, and that’s especially true when to factor in his troubling injury history.

7. Malcolm Brogdon

The Sixers have reportedly turned down an offer of Malcolm Brogdon and a first-round pick from Indiana. He slides into this tier rather comfortably. Brogdon is a hand-in-glove fit on paper, and he would give Philadelphia a much more reliable presence late in games. That said, he alone is — you guessed it — not enough.

Brogdon is a bulky 6-foot-5 guard, and he’s no pushover on defense. He can battle bigger players on switches and help Philadelphia preserve some of its defensive versatility. That said, he’s a sizable step back from Simmons, and he’s not the most dynamic on-ball creator this list has to offer.

The 28-year-old averaged 21.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 5.9 assists last season, hitting 38.8 percent of his 3s. He would improve the Sixers’ offense considerably, especially down the stretch, but Simmons is much younger and has more accolades on his resume. The Pacers would need to propose a stronger offer.