Simmons' passed up dunk is why Warriors shouldn't pursue him


Right here and right now, let's put an end to any dreams or desires of the Warriors acquiring Ben Simmons this offseason or anytime soon.

Simmons, an NBA All-Star and All-Defensive First Team selection this season, showed Sunday night why he's not cut from the Warriors' cloth.

In the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers' stunning 103-96 Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, Simmons wasn't up to the task. He didn't play like a max contract player. And beyond his stat line, there was one play that sums up why Simmons wouldn't fit with the Warriors.

With the 76ers trailing by two points late in the fourth quarter, Simmons shed Hawks forward Danilo Gallinari and appeared to have a wide open layup or dunk. The 6-foot-11 Simmons did neither of those things.

Instead, Simmons passed the the ball to a flat-footed Matisse Thybulle, who got fouled as he went up to the rim.

The 76ers fans at Wells Fargo Center couldn't believe what they had just seen. One of their superstars appeared to be too scared to go up strong to the rim for fear of getting fouled and having to shoot free throws, which isn't his strong suit.

If the Warriors' front office had any inclination to pursue Simmons, that should have ended when they watched that sequence.

Simmons' stat line in a winner-take-all Game 7 on his home court should give the Warriors, or any other team interested in him, some pause. In 36 minutes Sunday night, Simmons went 2-of-4 from the field and finished with five points, 13 assists and eight rebounds.

Every 76ers starter took more shots than Simmons. A guy making just over $29 million this season took FOUR shots in a game with his season on the line.

Yes, Simmons' defense and passing are exceptional traits, but the Warriors need big-time players and guys willing to take big shots if they want to get back to the NBA mountaintop.

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Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson badly want to get back to the NBA Finals next season. In those big moments, with so much on the line, players can't be timid. They can't be scared. The Warriors' core three never shy away from the moment like Simmons did Sunday night.

That one moment showed why Simmons wouldn't be a good fit with the Warriors.

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