Dallas Mavericks emphasize defense and Ben Simmons has struggled since back injury
Simmons made the All-Defensive team twice during his time with the Sixers, and he led the league in steals per game in 2020. The 6’10 forward has the size to defend inside and the athletic ability to guard on the perimeter. He was one of the few players that had success slowing down Luka Doncic, but he may not be that same player.
Simmons missed four games with a knee injury this season, and he is coming off a season-ending back surgery after missing the first portion of last year holding out. To think Simmons gets back to that elite defender is no sure thing. He currently rates 185 out of 252 qualified players in FiveThirtyEight’s defensive RAPTOR.
Simmons needs to be an elite defender to make up for his offensive limitations. Without the defense, the 6’10 guard cannot produce anywhere near the three years and $113.7 million left on his contract. He is paid like one of the best players in the league, but he is not producing like one so far this season.
It is not just the current production, but risks other than his numbers that should scare the Dallas Mavericks off from even considering a Ben Simmons trade.