Ben Simmons played role in Jimmy Butler’s departure to Miami Heat

Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, Jimmy Butler, Ben Simmons, NBA Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Philadelphia 76ers’ unceremonious exit from the 2021 NBA Postseason could be the beginning of the end for ‘The Process’. It is the third time in four seasons that the 76ers have been unable to get into the Eastern Conference Finals, and this year it was probably the toughest to stomach.

Philadelphia earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, so all roads went through the Wells Fargo Center in the playoffs. Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks was in their gym and it still didn’t matter as the Hawks put together a gutsy performance, winning 103-96 to advance to face off with the Milwaukee Bucks.

READ MORE: NBA Rumors: Should the Philadelphia 76ers look to trade Ben Simmons this offseason?

While there are several reasons the 76ers fell short, Ben Simmons is receiving the brunt of the criticism. While it can be argued whether or not that is fair, Simmons now has a mounting track record that his performance, or lack thereof offensively, is as big of a reason why Philadelphia can’t get over the hump.

In the playoffs, when things slow down and the game becomes more halfcourt orientated, Simmons’s flaws become more pronounced. That is one reason the team acquired Jimmy Butler from the Minnesota Timberwolves before the 2018-19 season.

READ MORE: NBA Rumors: This 76ers-Blazers trade swaps CJ McCollum, Ben Simmons

Butler was there to take pressure off of Simmons, as he could not only facilitate the offense but make teams pay who would give a little too much attention to Joel Embiid in the half-court. While the team was better, Simmons was not happy, which led to a decision, which in hindsight, was proven to be dead wrong.

According to league sources, Simmons’ frustration at being relegated to off-ball duty during the team’s 2019 second-round loss to the Raptors contributed to the front office’s decision to not re-sign Jimmy Butler. Brown had handed Butler the keys to the offense, and management was worried how Simmons would handle having Butler around and monopolizing crunch-time playmaking duties for multiple years.“

Stars drive this league, and Simmons had that kind of power as the No. 1 pick. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it is going to work out as everyone had hoped in the City of Brotherly Love. Meanwhile, it certainly has for the Miami Heat, on the other hand.

Butler reached not only the Eastern Conference Finals but the NBA Finals, in his first season with the Miami Miami Heat. The decision to let him leave looked bad at the time but looks even worse now as Simmons looks like he needs a change of scenery with confidence from his head coach and teammates waning.

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