Ben Simmons - Guard/Forward, Brooklyn Nets (Semi-No-Brainer)
This one is a totally different path than the previous two players, but Simmons would be a fascinating addition to the Hornets in a very unique vein. Simmons is a once-proven commodity, as he made multiple All-Star games and All-Defense teams. But he’s barely played over the past three years and hasn’t been able to sustain quality play in ages.
Now Simmons is almost viewed as dead weight around the league, and the two years and $78+ million left on his contract make Simmons a non-starter for most teams. But the Hornets are not most teams right now.
They could absorb SImmons’ contract and add a couple of draft picks for doing the Nets a favor. They could also give the 27-year-old reclamation project a chance for a fresh start to salvage his career. Simmons would be able to play in low-pressure, zero-stakes situations in Charlotte.
He could focus on the things that made him great, defending 1-5 at an elite level, and playmaking on offense. He’d be an incredible point forward for the Hornets, deferring scoring and shooting to guys like Ball and Miller, while anchoring the defense on the other end. If Simmons can get right physically and mentally, he could be an incredible fit to help guide the young Hornets into the future.
The team would be nightmarishly big and long and could put enough shooting around Simmons to make up for his notoriously limited range. In an ideal world, Ben could be a Draymond Green-like player, and Charlotte is the perfect spot for him to realize that destiny.