Who do you trust to guard Kevin Durant, James Harden, Jayson Tatum, or Giannis Antetoukounmpo?
To me, there is only one answer: Ben Simmons.

The defensive value he brings to the Sixers is why he is indispensable. Many people want the Sixers to ship Ben Simmons away for someone who is a better fit alongside Joel Embiid offensively.

In my eyes, a Ben Simmons trade would be taking one step forward offensively, only to take two steps back defensively.

Ben Simmons is one of the only players in the league capable of locking a player down and taking them out of a game. No, he cannot completely shut down all-time great scorers such as Durant or Harden. He can, however, slow them down.

When the playoffs roll around, each possession becomes magnified, and having his presence on the court is a must.

Photo: Yong Kim/The Philadelphia Inquirer

Take a look at last year’s series against the Celtics; Simmons was sidelined, and we all know how the series played out. The Celtics were able to ride whoever got hot between Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kemba Walker as they controlled each game. Had Ben Simmons been healthy, his defensive versatility would’ve given the Sixers a chance to slow down the hot hand. Granted, Brett Brown was on the sideline, but Ben Simmons’s absence created a massive void defensively, and the Sixers couldn’t overcome it. Joel Embiid is one of the best rim protectors in the league, but he can’t do it all defensively.

Some may look towards Matisse Thybulle as an answer, but the fact of the matter is he doesn’t come close to providing the same value offensively as Ben Simmons does.

It is time for people to give up on the dream of Simmons dropping 20 points a night. His value on offense comes from using his elite court vision to facilitate as he is among the league’s best at doing so. His ability to see the court creates open shot after open shot for Seth Curry, Danny Green, and Tobias Harris. Unfortunately, that part of his game often goes unrecognized because those stats do not appear in the box score.

Trading Simmons leaves you relying on Shake Milton and Tyrese Maxey to run the offense. Both are fantastic players; however, neither can run an NBA offense on the level that Ben Simmons does.

Ben Simmons’ versatility paired with his elite ability to run the offense is why the Sixers cannot afford to trade him. I know trades are exciting, and it seems as if the Sixers make a big one every year. While I’ll admit to being a fan of chaos, there is no need to root for chaos when it comes to the Sixers.

This team under Doc Rivers has the look of a title contender.
Philadelphia would be foolish to part with an integral player such as Ben Simmons just to shake things up.

Featured Image: Yong Kim/The Philadelphia Inquirer
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