Grade the Trade: Mavericks land elite defender in mock blockbuster trade

Dallas Mavericks v Brooklyn Nets
Dallas Mavericks v Brooklyn Nets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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Ben Simmons
Brooklyn Nets v Chicago Bulls / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Mavs add former All-Defensive First Team selection and former All-Star Ben Simmons for cheap in this blockbuster deal

This mock trade was first theorized by writer Cal Durrett and highlights just how low Ben Simmons' value may have steeped. The Mavericks gain two first-round picks in the midst of only giving up three role players to Brooklyn that aren't too sacrificial to the team's utmost needs.

They also take on the contract of Ben Simmons amidst a horrendous season last year in Brooklyn comparable to his pre-injury days in Philadelphia.

Below is Durrett's original proposed trade.

Mavs/Nets Simmons trade

**Trade would have to be after September 4th, as Richaun Holmes can’t be traded in aggregate with other players until 60 days after he was officially traded to Dallas on July 6th**

Here, we see the Mavericks receiving Ben Simmons and both of Phoenix’s first-round picks in 2025 and 2027. The Phoenix picks come from the smorgasbord of a package that Phoenix traded for Kevin Durant. There’s no telling how those picks end up faring, but with how volatile super-teams have become in the NBA the last few years, perhaps one of those Phoenix picks turns out to be good in a few years.

The most intriguing aspect of this trade though, is the fact that Brooklyn is attaching both of those future Phoenix picks in the deal strictly to get off of Ben Simmons' contract.

Simmons is poised to earn about $37 million next year, and only has two seasons remaining on a contract that would’ve dispersed $177 million to him over five years had his epic holdout in Philadelphia never happened.

The Nets take back Tim Hardaway Jr., JaVale McGee, and Richaun Holmes here. All three of the role players that they are receiving from Dallas aren’t necessarily flat-out expendable assets, but they all are in a logjam at their respective positions on this current Mavericks roster.

Gauging what Simmons' value is isn’t an easy task as he had an awful year in many facets of the game with Brooklyn last year, albeit that it was his first true reclamation season after his holdout with Philadelphia and back issues kept him out all of 2021-22. 

However, he wouldn’t have been handed a max rookie extension by Philadelphia if it wasn’t for his dynamic playmaking when coming downhill and ball-hawking defense that showcased an ability to guard 1-5.

Despite this trade being eligible to go through as soon as September 4, the Nets would assuredly be hesitant to trade Simmons before the season even starts given just how low his contract could potentially be valued by other teams.

The Nets will likely try to reclaim the value of Simmons in hopes of making him an integral part of their rotation or a valuable asset to trade next year.