Insider Gives Key Update on Lakers’ Trade Talks for Sixers Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons Lakers

Getty The Lakers are interested in trading for Ben Simmons.

The Los Angeles Lakers continue to be linked to disgruntled Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons. Yet, the Lakers face an uphill battle to actually land Simmons given their current roster.

The Lakers are not trading Anthony Davis or LeBron James and this leaves Russell Westbrook as the only player who has a salary that makes a deal for Simmons financially doable. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported that the Lakers have had talks with the Sixers but downplayed the chances of a deal noting that Philly has little interest in Westbrook. Fischer noted that the Lakers’ discussions with the 76ers about Simmons “never developed very far.”

“One of those players [with potential to match Westbrook’s salary in a trade] is Ben Simmons,” Fischer explained on December 14. “The Athletic reported Los Angeles’ interest in Simmons on Monday, and Westbrook’s salary, outside of James’ and Davis’, is the only number on the Lakers’ books that can match Simmons’ own lofty deal. Even then, Westbrook is not a player on the Sixers’ list of hopeful returns, league sources told B/R, and conversations with the Lakers never developed very far.”

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The Lakers Are ‘Among the Teams Interested in Simmons’: Report

Fischer’s update comes on the heels of The Athletic’s Shams Charania dropping a Lakers bombshell about the team’s pursuit of Simmons. Charania listed the Lakers as part of “a fresh pool of teams” that have emerged as potential trade partners for the Sixers.

“The 76ers are ramping up their efforts to spark multi-team trade scenarios to move Simmons, sources said, and a fresh pool of teams has emerged as potential destinations,” Charania noted on December 14. “The New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers are among the teams interested in Simmons, sources said, although it’s unclear how much traction Philadelphia truly has on any move.”

The Lakers Appear to be Active Ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline on February 10

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, the Sixers are holding out for a top-25 player in exchange for Simmons. What are the Lakers or any of the contending teams getting with Simmons? The 76ers guard has yet to play a game this season, and the last time he was on the court Simmons appeared to have lost all confidence as Philadelphia lost to Atlanta in the playoffs.

The Lakers are likely going to strike out on landing Simmons, but the early indications are the team will attempt to be active at the NBA trade deadline on February 10. The challenge for Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka is the team has very few tradable assets. Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale listed the Lakers as one of the teams that needs to make a trade to “save their season.”

“Altering the makeup of this team will be difficult,” Favale detailed. “The Lakers’ three highest-paid players are either off-limits (LeBron, AD) or non-assets (Russ). They can combine Talen Horton-Tucker (trade-eligible Jan. 15) and Kendrick Nunn to take back a player making around $18.2 million, but sweetening a package beyond them is tough. They can only deal a first-round pick in 2027 or 2028, offer swaps in 2023 and 2026 and dangle second-rounders. For their sake, they better be prepared to exhaust every asset available to them.”

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