OKC Thunder, Ben Simmons

OKC Thunder, Ben Simmons Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The OKC Thunder were fortunate to find themselves in a rebuild forced upon them just a couple of years ago. With Russell Westbrook and Paul George on board, their championship opportunities were virtually nil, but they were too good to have any chance of retooling.

Then Kawhi Leonard and the LA Clippers came calling for George’s services, Westbrook realized it was time to move on, and suddenly the Thunder were gifted a historic windfall of draft assets. Since then, OKC has made plenty of moves, generally scooping a first-round pick or a couple of second-rounders in the process.

The OKC Thunder have a historic war chest of draft assets and are going to want to add a star sooner than later. Could Ben Simmons be that star?

Now the Thunder have all these picks but no second star to pair with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Perhaps the time has come to start cashing some of these assets in, and Ben Simmons may be just the man they’re looking for. The embattled Philadelphia 76ers star is on the trading block, and it’s possible the Thunder may make some inquiries.

Our friends at Bleacher Report came up with a blockbuster trade involving the Thunder, the Sixers and the Houston Rockets as a facilitating third team, and we’ll take a look at this hypothetical deal and analyze how it works for each franchise.

Here’s how the deal works:

Thunder Get

Ben Simmons

Shake Milton

76ers Get

Kemba Walker

Eric Gordon

Kenrich Williams

Draft assets (see below)

Rockets Get

George Hill

No. 55 pick (via OKC)

The above draft assets are as follows:

  • No. 16 pick (from OKC),
  • No. 18 pick (from OKC, via MIA),
  • No. 34 pick (from OKC),
  • 2024 first-round pick (from OKC, via LAC)
  • 2025 first-round pick (top-six protected, from OKC, via PHI)

Let’s take a look at whether this trade works for each team, starting with the Houston Rockets.

Does this blockbuster trade for Ben Simmons work for the Houston Rockets?

The Rockets come away from this trade looking good. They get rid of Eric Gordon, whose contract is an albatross, and they replace him with George Hill and a late second-round pick from the OKC Thunder. Houston also saves $8.2 million as Hill makes that much less than Gordon.

Third teams in three-team deals often get away with murder, and this trade is no exception for the Houston Rockets.

Next up, let’s take a look at how the Sixers fare.

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