‘Team To Watch’: Atlanta Hawks In Ben Simmons Trade Talks?

Ben Simmons, Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Atlanta Hawks are one of the many teams that will actively be looking to shake up their roster this NBA offseason. After making a surprise run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021, the Hawks fell woefully short of repeating that level of success.

Atlanta finished ninth in the Eastern Conference, earning a spot in the NBA Play-In Tournament. They defeated the Charlotte Hornets in the first game and Cleveland Cavaliers in the second, earning the No. 8 seed in the playoffs and matchup with the No. 1 seeded Miami Heat.

Things went as you would expect them to, as the Heat disposed of the Hawks rather easily. They took Trae Young out of the series from the start, as he finished with more turnovers, 30, than baskets made, 24.

That run during the 2021 postseason greatly impacted how they operated last offseason. They brought virtually the exact same roster, deciding to run it back and see if history would repeat itself. It did not and now changes are needed.

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Consolidating the roster is something that has been on the table for Atlanta in recent years. This offseason could be the time they actually do it, but who would they be targeting in such a deal? Could Ben Simmons be a candidate?

According to Chris Kirshner of The Athletic, a paid subscription publication, Simmons is someone that people within the Atlanta Hawks organization are fond of. Discussions were held about acquiring him at the deadline from the Philadelphia 76ers and could be held again now that his future is cloudy with the Brooklyn Nets.

“I’d also keep an eye on Simmons, too. Several people inside the Hawks’ organization wanted Simmons at the trade deadline. The price might not be as high to land him now, especially if Brooklyn decides to move on before he plays one game for the Nets.”

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: 3 Ben Simmons Trade Ideas The Brooklyn Nets Should Pursue

On the surface, acquiring Ben Simmons would make some sense. He is arguably the most versatile defender in the NBA and defense has been an issue for the Hawks in recent seasons. Simmons’ presence would cover up a lot of their deficiencies.

However, there are some concerns about how he would fit offensively. Young almost always has the ball in his hands, with only 5.6 percent of his shot attempts last season on catch-and-shoot attempts. He pounds the rock, which drew the ire of John Collins, as 47.3 percent of his attempts come after he has dribbled seven or more times.

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Without the ball in his hands as a playmaker, Ben Simmons doesn’t bring much to the table on offense. His hesitancy to shoot the ball is part of the reason the Atlanta Hawks made the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021. It would be a coming full-circle moment if Simmons ended up suiting up for the Hawks given the part they played in his career.