As a supposed rift between Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers continue to widen after the guard reportedly informed the team that he no longer wants to be a part of the team and won’t attend training camp, Danny Green is mentally moving on it seems.
The Sixers have dominated the news cycle entertaining offers for Simmons, but with no deal. But with Tyrese Maxey added to the Simmons rumor mill, a split seems inevitable with each passing day.
Danny Green had an appearance on Sports Illustrated’s “The Crossover” podcast and shared his take on what the Sixers would have to do to adjust in Simmons’ absence. Defensively he talked about how it would affect his role personally to Howard Beck.
On the Crossover: A very candid @DGreen_14 discusses his free agency, the NBA’s shrinking middle-class market, Philly’s title hopes and yes, Ben Simmons’ future.— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) August 31, 2021
Listen/subscribe: https://t.co/lhCvpA2us5 pic.twitter.com/YS1JW3oeJB
“Defensively, I probably become the primary defender,” Green said. “Not that it’s an issue or a problem for me, but we have one less wing defender without [Ben]. Now it’s me and Matisse [Thybulle], not saying the other guys don’t play defense, but you talk about our main defenders, Ben was a big part of that and a part of our defense.
Despite the offensive struggles in his game, Simmons checks a lot of boxes while on the floor, especially on the defensive end. Ben finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting last season behind Rudy Gobert. It is widely known around the NBA that Simmons is possibly the most versatile defender in the League with his ability to switch seamlessly and guard all five positions. The Sixers defense is vastly different without Simmons applying pressure and serving as the defensive leader, and that fact isn’t lost on Green.
“No disrespect to Rudy Gobert, he had a great year, as always, and for the last three years, but we thought Ben was able to guard one through five and set the tone for us. But if he’s gone that changes a lot, not just offensive but defensively, as well for me. It depends on what we get back in return.”
So while the saga with Simmons plays itself out, the Sixers’ defensive end is where the team and Green knows he will be missed.