Pistons trade: How the 76ers’ Ben Simmons can end up in Detroit

Philadelphia 76ers Ben Simmons. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Philadelphia 76ers Ben Simmons. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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A Philadelphia 76ers site wants to trade Al Horford to the Detroit Pistons for Blake Griffin. Getting Ben Simmons would be much better. Here is a reasonable proposal to make it happen.

A veteran multi-talented big man a year away from averaging 24.5 points a game is going to a valuable commodity if put on the trade market. That means you will hear the name Blake Griffin.  The Detroit Pistons can expect to get all kinds of offers for him.

Now, Pistons management had not said a word about wanting to get rid of Griffin. But it does not take Red Auerbach to figure out a young, rebuilding team would at least be open to offers for a 31-year-old with a big contract coming off knee problems.

The Philadelphia 76ers dedicated site The Sixers Sense recently proposed a trade for Griffin, where the main piece in return is another veteran big man Al Horford.

Sixers Sense trade proposal:

Now, this was labeled as the ‘if all else fails trade’ if they can not dump Horford’s massive contract another NBA team. All else will probably fail.

As part a series of blunders by the confederacy of dunces that made up the 76ers management team last summer, Horford was signed for four years and a maximum of $106 million.

Horford did not fit in with a team where its two best players, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, do their best work in the paint. He also was not the defensive stopper he had shown himself at previous to be at previous stops in Boston and Atlanta.

Related Story. A deal that would shake the NBA: Joel Embiid to Pistons. light

Mike Scott is heck of a nice guy and, when his three-point shot is on, can contribute. But he is over 30 and a career six-points a game scorer. He does not move the needle in a major trade.

The Pistons could definitely use some second-round draft picks after losing three of them in the bizarre Deividas Sirvydis trade last year. But, again, second round picks do not get you a five-time all-star.

The ultimate killer for this trade comes when you compare contracts.

Griffin gets paid a lot more than Horford ($36 to 28 million) but his contract expires in two years. Horford’s goes for three more years with a $14 million partial guarantee in 2022-23.

Thanks to some major salary trimming, the Pistons can handle Griffin’s big deal fairly easily.

Assuming Griffin is healthy, he is a much better alternative to Horford on the floor. He would cost a little more the next couple of seasons but the positives well outweigh the negatives.

From the Pistons perspective, this trade is a big: NO

That is not to say there is not a deal to be done with the Philadelphia 76ers.

After being swept by the Boston Celtics (who dealt with losing Horford just fine, apparently) in the playoffs, the Sixers did ink a big-name coach in Doc Rivers,  but owner Josh Harris is sticking with basically the same front office team.

This is the group that thought getting rid of that malcontent Jimmy Butler while throwing tons of cash at Horford and Tobias Harris were peachy-keen ideas.

Knowing what he is dealing with at the other end, Detroit general manager Troy Weaver might be able to pry away from the Sixers a player the Pistons would covet: Ben Simmons.