The Hawks didn’t advance as far as they wanted this season and Ben Simmons never got on the floor for the Nets.
Could they be a match made in basketball heaven?
Well, we wouldn’t go quite that far. But according to Chris Kirchner of The Athletic, the Hawks could be a team to watch when it comes to Simmons this offseason.
After all, they did have an interest in him at the trade deadline in February, Kirchner reported. But it was the Nets who acquired him from the 76ers as part of the James Harden deal.
Granted, no one is getting the feeling the Nets have given up on Simmons, who underwent back surgery earlier this month. But league sources have told Hoops Wire the Nets were indeed disappointed he never took the floor and are a little nervous about his future.
With that second part in mind, he may be hard to move. Anyone who might trade for him undoubtedly would want to see him play first. At least, you would sure think so.
If so, that would rule out any shot of an offseason trade. Also, while rumors continue to swirl around the Nets — the biggest flop this side of the Lakers — it seems highly unlikely that they are ready to move on from Simmons. At least not until they get a look at Simmons next to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Then again, this is the NBA, and we were all told a Harden-for-Simmons swap would never happen before the deadline. Truth is, any trade can happen and at just about any time.
And Hawks GM Travis Schlenk did say he intended to look for ways to improve the team. Every GM says that, but Schlenk sounded a little more serious than most. As if the Hawks may be looking to make a splash.
“We made the decision last year to run the same group back. We probably should’ve tried to upgrade, as opposed to stay status quo,” Schlenk told reporters. “The way the season played out; we’re certainly going to try to upgrade the roster moving forward into next season.”
A healthy Simmons next to Trae Young may be pretty cool to watch. It could mean cool things for the Hawks. But until Simmons shows he’s capable of playing again, it probably would be wise for the Hawks to keep that idea exactly that — just an idea.
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